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AOL acquires TechCrunch blog network

Michael Arrington sold his blog to AOL's Tim Armstrong on stage during his TechCrunch Disrupt conference, without disclosing any of the terms.

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington

AOL has added another blog to its stable, snapping up Michael Arrington's TechCrunch for an undisclosed fee today.

Tim Armstrong, AOL's CEO, made the announcement on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2010 along with TechCrunch founder and co-editor Arrington and TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde. They actually signed the deal before the conference audience, although they did not say anything about valuation during a conference focused almost exclusively on start-ups, venture funding, and exit strategies.

TechCrunch will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary and Armstrong promised Arrington that he would have complete editorial freedom over content posted on TechCrunch. AOL operates tech blog Engadget in a similar manner.

Arrington founded TechCrunch in June 2005, and it rose to become one the leading sources of news and opinion about start-up companies in the Web 2.0 era, also expanding into conferences such as Disrupt and the former TechCrunch 50 events. While the TechCrunch network employs several other writers, Arrington is the public face of the brand and plans to stay on with AOL for at least three years, he said.