Verizon To Acquire AOL For $4.4 Billion, Read Tim Armstrong’s Memo

Telecom giant Verizon is acquiring AOL for $4.4 billion. AOL, which includes Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch and more, will become a subsidiary of Verizon as part of the deal, overseeing a bigger push into content and mobile video by Verizon.

Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, said: “Verizon’s vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform. This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience.”

Tim Armstrong, AOL chairman and CEO, will continue to lead AOL operations after closing.

Armstrong said, “Verizon is a leader in mobile and OTT connected platforms, and the combination of Verizon and AOL creates a unique and scaled mobile and OTT media platform for creators, consumers and advertisers. The visions of Verizon and AOL are shared; the companies have existing successful partnerships, and we are excited to work with the team at Verizon to create the next generation of media through mobile and video.”

Read AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s memo on the acquisition:

Today is a very proud day for all of us here at AOL – as you may have read in the press, we announced this morning that Verizon is acquiring AOL.

Over the last 5 years, we have returned AOL to growth and outperformed the market (+150% since spin) by investing in the future of content, video and programmatic platforms. We now have the opportunity to turn our efforts and assets to a broader market with an exponentially larger opportunity through the combination of Verizon and AOL, which will create the company best positioned for the next generation of mobile and video. The new entity will combine world-class media and world-class technology across every device.

We believe this move will game change our ability to out-perform against your expectations as consumers continue to disrupt legacy consumption and viewership habits. Right out of the gate, here’s what we will soon be able to bring to you:

Massive global scale in addressable cross-screen audience (over 1.5B PCs, TVs and mobile devices touching 70% of U.S. Internet traffic)
Access to a larger premium, mobile and video-led content library
Deeper content marketing solutions
Accelerated investment in programmatic products and features
Increased monetization opportunities
It is an exciting continuation of our Culture and Code journey – now with greater scale, more resources and assets. On behalf of everyone at AOL and Verizon, we are thrilled to partner with you every step of the way.

Thanks as always for your continued partnership and support.

Tim Armstrong

Noble Jewels, Geneva

Sotheby’s hosted the Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels auction in Geneva which fetched a total of $164.5 million, the highest ever total for a various owner jewelry auction. Records were broken throughout the sale with the Sunrise Ruby being the top lot of the auction.

Breaking A Record: $179,365,000 For An Iconic Picasso

The painting, Les Femmes d’Alger, by Picasso the great sold for a record $179,365,000 at an auction Monday in New York, a Christie’s spokesperson said.

The 1955 canvas, “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version “O”) sets a new bar for the contemporary art market. Previously, the most expensive art sold at auction was Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” which went for $142 million in 2013.

Christie’s, the auction house that handled the sale, had expected the Picasso to garner $140 million.

The seller, who bought the painting privately, remains anonymous. The painting was last sold at auction for $31.9 million in 1997.

“Les Femmes d’Alger,” which translates to “The Women of Algiers,” is considered a masterpiece of contemporary art, featuring nude courtesans, a common theme for Picasso, and is painted in the cubist style.

Picasso painted it as an homage to his friend and rival, Henri Matisse, the famous French impressionist, who passed away in 1954.

Les Femme d' AlgersLes Femme d’ Algers

Jussi Pylkkanen, the auctioneer whose hammer set the price, understood the bidders’ mood. He told the London Telegraph, “From the auctioneer’s rostrum it has become clear that the many new global collectors chasing masterpieces have been waiting for an iconic Picasso to appear on the market,” he said. “None is more iconic than Les Femmes d’Alger.”

J-Lo Moves into Planet Hollywood Las Vegas for a Four-Month Spectacular @JLo

Confirming rumors that have been circling for months, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino will soon shine a little brighter with the landing of a new star. Jennifer Lopez announced during this week’s “American Idol” Season 14 finale that she will begin a Las Vegas headlining residency show beginning Wednesday, January 20, 2016.

In a spectacular show created just for the Vegas stage, Lopez will bring her star power to the resort’s AXIS Theater.  Lopez will further elevate Las Vegas as an entertainment destination, creating a must-see show.

“I’ve been preparing for this moment my entire life,” said Lopez. “The show is going to be a multifaceted high energy Jenny from the Block party, mixing all aspects of what my fans and I love: Dance, Hip Hop, Latin and Pop. It’s going to be the show I’ve always dreamt of creating.”

J-Lo gown

The nearly two-hour show will feature all her hit songs, supported by a live band and dancers, extravagant costumes, and state-of-the-art technology in sets, lighting, video and special effects.  Lopez’s show inside The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino will be the only opportunity to see her perform live in North America. It will be a totally unique production, where the audience will be able to experience Lopez up close and personal, yet larger than life.

Bee Line for Billionaire Boys Club x Timberland 6-Inch ‘Printed Canvas’ Pack

For Spring/Summer 2015 the two took a less serious approach than last time, offering up the iconic Timberland 6-inch boot in two eye-catching graphic all-over print versions. The pack consists of the Honeycomb Canvas Boot and the Grass Canvas Boot. Look out for a release of the Bee Line for Billionaire Boys Club x Timberland 6-Inch ‘Printed Canvas’ Pack on May 22 at select retailers.

Win the ultimate @WynnSocial MDW pass – 9 parties, 4 clubs! #MDWynn

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