|AOL has announced a patent deal with Microsoft.|
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AOL ( AOL) shares surged in premarket trading on Monday after the Internet firm agreed to sell more than 800 of its patents to Microsoft ( MSFT) in a $1.1 billion deal. "The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio," said Tim Armstrong, the AOL CEO, in a statement released before the market open. "The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value." Shares of AOL climbed more than 34% to reach $24.70. Microsoft's stock dipped 0.86% to $31.25.
Apple ( AAPL) which recently hit new all-time highs, fell 1.26% to $625.68 before market open. BTIG downgraded Apple to neutral from buy on Monday, citing changing dynamics in the post-paid wireless industry. The frequent upgrades of iPhone customers, according to BTIG, have squeezed wireless operator margins. The analyst firm also highlighted the possible need for an iPhone price cut, as well as heightened expectations that Apple will launch another revolutionary phone. --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices.