AOL Acquires Gdgt, Adding Yet Another Tech Website To Its Stable

Gdgt co-founder calls the acquisition as "natural fit" given his website's "DNA"

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AOL has acquired tech website gdgt, adding another publication to its vast inventory of technology-oriented Web properties including Engadget, TechCrunch, Joystiq and TUAW.

AOL (NYSE:AOL) has acquired tech website gdgt, a gadget-centric (as it name implies) and community-oriented publication co-founded by Ryan Block, a former editor-in-chief at another one of AOL’s tech websites Engadget.

Gdgt confirmed the news Wednesday morning in a blog post written by Block, who said the acquisition will help the website expand its current offerings.

"At AOL, gdgt will only continue to grow and evolve as the best premium destination for purchase intelligence, recommendations, user reviews, shopping data and community-driven content about personal technology," Block wrote.

While terms of the acquisition were not revealed, TechCrunch said that the deal could be “in the high seven figures.”  

Rumors of the acquisition were first reported by TechCrunch, another of AOL’s tech websites, almost two weeks ago. AOL also owns the tech-oriented Web properties TUAW and Joystiq, along with the technology vertical for the Huffington Post. Gdgt previously had a partnership with Engadget to feature some of the former site’s content on the latter, but the two publications’ official relationship ended last year.

As part of the new deal, Block and his fellow co-founder, Peter Rojas, will both join AOL’s tech publishing team -- Block becoming head of product at AOL Tech Media, while Rojas will still run gdgt and server as editor-at-large for Engadget, which he also helped co-found.

“A lot of you may have no idea who I am,” Rojas wrote in what he called his first Engadget post in five years. “But I'm the guy who created Engadget and, for a while, was the only person who wrote for it.”

Rojas said that he and Block left Engadget “on exceptionally good terms,” adding that “AOL even invested in our new company.” Despite the amicable breakup, Rojas said that he was surprised to return to AOL five years later.

“Even though the relationship has been good all these years, I never honestly expected we'd have the chance to return, and I can say that it feels good to be part of the family again,” Rojas added. “I'm insanely proud of the work that Tim Stevens and the Engadget team have done to grow the site into a tech news powerhouse that it is today. The Engadget of 2013 far exceeds anything I could have hoped for it when it launched back in 2004.”

Rojas said that “more details about how we got here and why bringing gdgt to AOL makes sense” will be forthcoming. And Block, for his part, said that the buyout evolved organically from the close-knit relationships that the two founders shared with the various tech publications in their new parent company’s vast media portfolio.  

"We got to talking further and realized that gdgt, its team, its technology and, perhaps most importantly, its DNA were a natural fit for AOL’s world-class lineup of tech sites," Block wrote in the blog post announcing the news. "Well, one thing led to another, and here we are."

AOL shares fell during Wednesday morning trading, wavering around $36.77 in early morning trading before climbing back above $37 per share before noon.

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