AOL buys TechCrunch, continues push into Web content

Rumors of AOL buying TechCrunch are confirmed as the companies make the announcement on the stage of the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.

The only rumor that the TechCrunch blog hasn't been floating around this week was the one that had its name on it. But today, on the stage of the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, the news was made official: AOL is buying TechCrunch.

In a press release - posted on TechCrunch, of course - the companies said TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will become part of the AOL Technology Network but will retain their editorial independence, "further bolstering AOL’s position as one of the world’s leading providers of high-quality, tech-oriented content."

At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City in May, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said that AOL believed that the next phase of the Internet is about content and that AOL was positioning itself to be a leader in that space.

In a statement Tuesday, Armstrong said:

Michael (Arrington) and his colleagues have made the TechCrunch network a byword for breaking tech news and insight into the innovative world of start-ups, and their reputation for top-class journalism precisely matches AOL’s commitment to delivering the expert content critical to this audience.TechCrunch and its team will be an outstanding addition to the high-quality content on the AOL Technology Network, which is now a must-buy for advertisers seeking to associate their brands with leading technology content and its audience.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed - which is really kind of ironic because that's exactly the sort of detail that the no-longer-independent blog that Arrington built would have pushed for and criticized the participants for not disclosing.

The Business Insider blog, however, is citing "second-hand sources" who put the price tag at $25 million.