Verizon has approached AOL on a potential acquisition or venture, primarily interested in AOL’s programmatic ad technology and expertise on online content, according to Bloomberg News.
Verizon is also eyeing up AOL’s dial up customers, which Verizon could move to fiber optic deals. Last year, reports said AOL still had 500,000 customers on dial up in the U.S.
AOL is not the only company Verizon is currently in talks with for programmatic ad technology, Yahoo has also been in talks with Verizon for a venture of some kind.
AOL has become a full media company, owing TechCrunch, Engadget and other internet news organisations, and advertising plays a vital role in the growth of the company.
If Verizon were to place a bid for the company, it would make Verizon a media corporation, alongside offering wireless, broadband and TV to customers.
This could lead to a conflict of interest, especially since some writers at AOL’s news organisations have pushed for net neutrality legislation, something Verizon is venomously against.
Verizon has also been outed for throttling competitors speeds, forcing companies like Netflix to pay an additional toll to send content to viewers.
However, Comcast owns NBC Universal, so it is questionable if the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) or FTC (Federal Trade Commission) will see this as a conflict of interest.
Verizon has declined to comment on the report.