AOL closes Bebo deal

Time Warner plans to create a new AOL People Networks business unit including AIM, ICQ, and other community platforms, led by the social network's CEO, Joanna Shields.

AOL has closed its acquisition of Bebo, which it plans to fold into a new People Networks business unit.

The new unit will include Bebo, AIM, ICQ, and AOL's other community platforms, with a reach of about 80 million users worldwide, the company said Monday. Joanna Shields, CEO of Bebo, will serve as executive vice president of AOL and president of People Networks.

AOL in March announced the $850 million acquisition of Bebo, designed to boost the company's international presence. The youth-oriented social network is popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand.

The new unit will combine several social-media technologies at AOL. People Networks will also include widget technology company Goowy Media and social-search question-and-answer service Yedda.

The plans call for cross-distribution of AOL and Bebo content and applications. For example, AOL will promote Bebo's original programming across several AOL channels, and Bebo will integrate AOL music and entertainment content.

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