AOL Unloading Bebo for Massive Loss

$850M buy being sold off at rock-bottom price
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2010 5:00 AM CDT
AOL's 2008 buy of Bebo fror $850 million was widely criticized.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – AOL's ride on the social networking bandwagon appears to have been a blunder costing close to a billion dollars. The company is in the final stages of making a deal to sell floundering Bebo, which it bought for $850 million in 2008, for a price thought to be in the low tens of millions of dollars, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal.

The buyer is investment firm Criterion Capital Partners, which usually buys firms in the $3 million to $30 million range, seeking to turn them around. The price AOL is getting for Bebo, which never took off in the US and has been steadily losing market share to Facebook elsewhere, is an "exceptionally uninspiring number" with near total "value destruction," one insider says.

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