AOLVerizon1

Verizon has agreed to buy AOL Inc. in a $4.4 billion deal, the communications giant announced May 12.

The deal allows both companies to merge their services, and will help boost Verizon’s efforts to launch a streaming mobile video service as well as increase its digital advertising platform.

“This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam, said in a statement.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon will pay $50 per share for AOL, a 23 percent premium over the company’s three-month average stock price. AOL’s chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong is expected to keep his job when the company becomes a division within Verizon.

The Journal reported that Verizon plans to launch a video service this summer focused on mobile devices and featuring shorter video snippets rather than 30- to 60-minute shows. The snippets would include “multicast programming—a sort of broadcast service that uses cellular airwaves—for delivering live content like sports and concerts, along with on-demand viewing,” according to the newspaper.

In an interview with USA Today, Armstrong said that the merger would allow AOL not only to compete with digital advertising giants such as Google and Facebook, but also play a major role in the emerging era of connected TV and mobile media and advertising sectors.

The deal with Verizon is really about “mobile and video,” Armstrong told USA Today. “That is where the future is going.”