AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million. AOL Inc. announced late Sunday that it would buy the Huffington Post, the well-known news and opinion site. This is the AOL’s biggest move since it became an independent company in 2009.

The deal is worth $300 million in cash with $15 million in stock as per The Newyork Times. Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington will oversee a new group responsible for bringing together all editorial content from both companies including news, technology, music and local media websites. The new group will be known as the Huffington Post Media Group.

The Huffington Post Media Group will also be in charge of MapQuest, AOL Music, AutoBlog, Patch, Engadget and TechCrunch. Arianna Huffington posted the announcement of acquisition in her blog saying “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.”

AOL now claims that the combined entity reaches 117 million unique visitors per month in the U.S. and 270 million worldwide. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong says the new organization will be “a next-generation American media company” focused on content, community and social experiences.

The Huffington Post started in 2005 as a liberal blog with a tiny staff and a $1-million investment, growing since then into one of the most visited news websites in the U.S. It had 25 million unique visitors in December and the combination of the two firms will reach a total of 117 million unique U.S. visitors, according to AOL.

The Huffington Post will have something to prove as well. It has been criticized for aggregating content from other news sources rather than creating its own. It has recently begun to hire experienced journalists from mainstream media outlets to produce original reporting.

This is AOL’s biggest acquisition since it parted ways from Time Warner. The deal is likely to be completed in the first quarter or early in the second, AOL said.

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