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AOL has purchased the liberal blog-turned-Internet sensation the Huffington Post for $315 million. In a move that is sure to rock both the worlds of journalism and the Internet, AOL has placed all of its editorial properties under the supervision of Arianna Huffington, who will be the newly-formed Huffington Post Media Group’s editor-in-chief. The New York Times reports:

The two companies completed the sale Sunday evening and were expected to announce the deal Monday morning. AOL will pay $315 million, $300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock. It will be the company’s largest acquisition since it was separated from Time Warner in 2009.

The deal will allow AOL to greatly expand its news gathering and original content creation, areas that its chief executive, Tim Armstrong, views as vital to reversing a decade-long decline.

Arianna Huffington, the cable talk show pundit, author and doyenne of the political left, will take control of all of AOL’s editorial content as president and editor in chief of a newly created Huffington Post Media Group. The arrangement will give her oversight not only of AOL’s national, local and financial news operations, but also of the company’s other media enterprises like MapQuest and Moviefone.

Arianna Huffington announced the deal on the home page of the Huffington Post:

There were many more meetings, back-and-forth emails, and phone calls about what our merger would mean for the two companies. Things moved very quickly. A term sheet was produced, due diligence began, and on Super Bowl Sunday the deal was signed. In fact, it was actually was signed at the Super Bowl, where Tim was hosting a group of wounded vets from the Screamin’ Eagles. It was my first Super Bowl – an incredibly exciting backdrop that mirrored my excitement about the merger and the future ahead.

By combining HuffPost with AOL’s network of sites, thriving video initiative, local focus, and international reach, we know we’ll be creating a company that can have an enormous impact, reaching a global audience on every imaginable platform.

Read more about the merger on Huffington Post, and some analysis at the New York Times

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