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As AOL reports significant financial losses for Q1 of 2010, it sells off instant messaging serviceAOL and Digital Sky Technologies Limited (DST), announced on Wednesday that DST would be buying AOL's ICQ, for $187.5 million
ICQ is an instant messaging service that's been around for quite some time now. It was founded back in 1996 and AOL acquired its assets from Israeli, Mirabilis, back in June of 1998. I remember using ICQ a couple times but ended up sticking with my AIM screen name instead, which I've had for over 10 years. ICQ did grow quite large though, it's available in 16 languages and sees more than 32 million unique visitors per month.
In case you didn't know, DST has come up a bit in Silicon Valley tech news these days. The Russian investment firm holds significant stakes in Facebook, Zynga and GroupOn. It invested $200 million into Facebook, $180 million into Zynga and $135 million into Groupon.
Yuri Milner, CEO of DST commented, "The acquisition of ICQ is a strategic enhancement of our business in Russia and Eastern Europe. ICQ’s long-standing brand name and its sizeable loyal customer base together represent a very attractive opportunity to further strengthen our position in the region."
It seems like a pretty acceptable move for AOL. The Internet giant published its financial results for Q1 of 2010 this morning, showing total revenues dropped 23% year-over-year from Q1 of 2009.
Tim Armstron, CEO at AOL commented in a release, “As AOL continues its turnaround effort, we’re fortunate to find a great home for ICQ with DST […] DST is a leading innovator in the Internet investment space and has a significant presence in the markets where ICQ is strong. […] We wish them great success as a part of DST and will be rooting for them going forward.”
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