In 2008, social networking was growing at astronomical rates and AOL's management believed purchasing one of the leading social networking sites would help the company's turn-around.
At the time of the acquisition, Bebo had 40 million members, making Bebo the third-largest network, behind MySpace and Facebook. MySpace had been purchased by News Corp and Facebook was not for sale, as a result, Bebo became a viable target.
The valuation of Bebo and the price that AOL's management team paid ($850 Million) has always been questioned, even by Time Warner's CEO (Jeff Bewkes) which owned AOL at the time of the acquisition. http://aoltech.supportphone-number.com/
For more info, see the Washington Post's article about the acquisition -- http://aoltech.supportphone-number.com/
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