Verizon is set to acquire Huffington Post parent company AOL in a strong push to own both the delivery method and the content being delivered across multiple platforms. Verizon CEO Lowel McAdam says the acquisition is part of Verizon’s strategy “to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience.”
Verizon will pay $4.4 billion of AOL, which in addition to Huffington Post owns Engadget, TechCrunch and numerous other branded content properties. Verizon’s previous pushes into content creation, like SugarString, have drawn criticism. Verizon allegedly discouraged its journalists from taking on the net neutrality issue since its outcome would affect the company. It’s expected Huffpost will remain independent on the surface.