Verizon's $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL this morning could give the telecom company the kind of massive scale in the online and mobile advertising industry to compete with Google and Facebook. And, with that comes a long history of AOL's moves throughout the years.
Since Steve Case launched AOL in 1989, the digital pioneer has worn many hats in shifting from an Internet service company to an advertising and media company that claims The Huffington Post and TechCrunch as its properties.
All told, Verizon is getting six major assets from AOL's acquisitions that are highlighted below in a historical timeline that helps show how we got here.
2014: AOL buys Convertro—a marketing platform that helps advertisers track which channels churn out the most effective ads—in May for $101 million. Rumors of a merger between Yahoo and AOL also swirl.
Global CEO Bob Lord shuts down the speculation but seems to allude to today's outcome by saying, "People can make rumors about who we're going to get bought by, but it only validates that we have a good strategy in the market right now."
2013: It buys advertising exchange Adapt.tv in August for $400 million.
2011: AOL builds a media company by acquiring The Huffington Post for $315 million. (Re/code reports this morning that AOL may be looking to spin off The Huffington Post).
2010: It purchases tech website TechCrunch in September.
2009: Current CEO Tim Armstrong joins AOL in March. Time Warner spins off AOL in May as an independent company.
2008: CEO Jeff Bewkes breaks AOL's ad business away from its Internet services in February.
2007: AOL moves its headquarters from Virginia to New York to make a bigger push into advertising. By November, AOL claims 10 million subscribers.
2006: America Online rebrands as AOL, dropping its paid services to offer free email and Web tools to consumers.
2005: AOL beefs up its content resources by buying Moviefone—a film tickets seller—in May. In October, the company makes a big content push with the $25 million acquisition of Weblogs, which owned tech blog Engadget and Autoblog.
2001: Time Warner and America Online merge to create AOL Time Warner.
1999: It purchases MapQuest for $1.1 billion. While the mapping property has been hurt in recent years by Google and location app players, it still has tens of millions of monthly users, according to comScore.
1998: AOL acquires Web browser Netscape.
1992: After renaming itself America Online, the company goes public.
1989: Under the name Quantum, Steve Case launches an email and chat service, eventually spawning the "You've Got Mail" phrase.