Verizon agreed to pay $50 per share, a 17% premium over AOL's Monday close. Shares of AOL edged past Verizon's offer on Tuesday morning, reaching $50.35 and suggesting that investors expect a higher takeout price.
Yahoo! (YHOO) could take an interest in AOL. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has faced pressure from Starboard Value's Jeffrey Smith to pursue a merger with AOL. Shares of Yahoo! gained 53 cents, or about 1.2%, to $44.13 on Tuesday.
Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam touted the value of AOL's digital content and advertising technology.
AOL's media portfolio includes properties such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. The online group has also built out its advertising technology offerings through acquisitions such as the $101 million purchase of marketing technology company Convertro in 2014 and the $405 million acquisition of video advertising platform Adap.tv Inc. in 2013. AOL also has the remnants of its Internet access business.
Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson described the deal as "a tantalizing first step" by Verizon towards establishing a mobile ad platform.
"AOL has successfully built a robust ad tech stack with assets across mobile, social, video, and programmatic for both advertisers and publishers," he wrote. "It has premium audience measurement and attribution capabilities, as well as content creation and distribution technologies."