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AOL’s big Bebo buy

Social networking site Bebo bought for $850 million

US internet giant AOL has acquired social networking site Bebo for US $850 million in a bid to boost its online advertising networking and effectively compete in the social media space.

Bebo.com currently boasts 40 million users around the globe, with its strongest user base in US, Ireland, UK and New Zealand.

“Bebo is the perfect complement to AOL’s personal communications network and puts us in a leading position in social media,” stated Randy Falco, AOL chairman and CEO.

Falco went on to say, “What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user base, its vision of a truly social web and the monetization opportunities that leverage Platform A across our combined global audience. This positions us to offer advertisers even greater reach and marketers significant insights into the desires and needs of consumers.”

AOL plans to integrate its new social network with its existing products, including AIM and ICQ messenger.

Bebo’s current president, Joanna Shields will continue to run the firm and plans to launch local versions of the website in Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands and France later this year.

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