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AOL reportedly in talks to buy influential tech blog TechCrunch

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The rumor that TechCrunch is on the block has been circulating for months.

GigaOm’s Om Malik reports that TechCrunch has found a buyer in AOL.

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The talks could still fall apart, but Malik says sources in both camps say the announcement probably will come onstage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week when AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong makes an appearance.

Malik did not know terms of the deal.

AOL could not immediately be reached for comment.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington said in an instant message.

Arrington founded the influential technology blog in 2005 as a hobby. It has become a powerful force in Silicon Valley, covering start-ups and breaking news. The blog is driven by the outsized personality of its founder, who is revered and feared in Silicon Valley. Executive Heather Harde runs the TechCrunch business, which among other things puts on conferences such as TechCrunch Disrupt. Inc. Magazine recently reported that TechCrunch generates $10 million in annual revenue. TechCrunch says it has 9.2 million monthly unique visitors.

The talks come at an interesting juncture for AOL, which has been working to rebuild its business of delivering original news and content.

So did the king of Silicon Valley scoops get scooped on his own news story?

Stay tuned.

-- Jessica Guynn


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