AOL: We had other suitors


AOL [fortune-stock symbol=”AOL”] today filed documents with the SEC that included background on its pending $4.4 billion acquisition by Verizon [fortune-stock symbol=”VZ”]. Among the revelations were that AOL entered into confidentiality agreements with three other potential acquirors, including a private equity firm.

In the filing, AOL says that “members of Verizon’s management team” contacted AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong last July “to discuss potential collaborative opportunities between the companies.” Armstrong sat down with Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam at Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley conference that month to begin talks, even though media reports emanating from the event instead focused on Armstrong’s private chat with Yahoo [fortune-stock symbol=”YHOO”] boss Marissa Mayer.

The two companies discussed a variety of different possibilities — including a joint venture or commercial partnership — and entered into a confidentiality agreement in November 2014. At the time, Verizon said it had no…

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