AOL bags Bebo for ?417m

Social networks demand colossal price-tags. Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace in July 2005 for $580m, Microsoft paid $240m for a trifling 1.6 per cent stake in Facebook. Bebo is the latest to jump on the bandwagon.

The two Birches launched Bebo from their living room in July 2005. Since then, the Bebo phenomenon has exploded, with over 40,000,000 members worldwide.

The £417m deal will see the site integrated into AOL’s platform, with the US corporation introducing its instant messaging programs, AIM and ICQ into the site.

Industry insiders believe that AOL will take advantage of this ready-made clutch of members to try and regain it’s position as leader in online advertising.

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