America Online (AOL) today announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell over 800, keeping over 300 significant patent portfolios to itself, of its patents and their related patent applications to Microsoft granting the software giant a non-exclusive license to its retained patent portfolio for aggregate proceeds of $1.056 billion in cash.
“The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s Chairman and CEO. “We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. 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.”
The patent includes advertising, search, content generation/management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming, and security among others. AOL also received a license to the patents being sold to Microsoft. The patent sale includes the sale of the stock of an AOL subsidiary upon which AOL expects to record a capital loss for tax purposes and as a result, cash taxes in connection with the sale should be immaterial. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.