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Arrington Sells TechCrunch to AOL…But What About Jason Calacanis ?

Tech blog acquisition techcrunchTechCrunch has actually been acquired by AOL. This article will tell you about Tech blog acquisition Techcrunch. 

Since last night, rumors started floating across the web that TechCrunch, one of the most(if not the topmost) aggressive and well recognized technology blogs of startup industry was at its final stages of getting bought by AOL Inc. Although, folks were skeptic over the rumor but with more information from several other news sources, it appeared quite certain that TechCrunch is surely going to get new ownership.

And here comes the big news. TechCrunch has actually been acquired by AOL. Here is the official post authored by Tim Armstrong on TC that also comes with the whole press release. Looks like AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong is surely on a shopping spree as AOL just bought Web Video Service 5 Min for over $50Mn and now TechCrunch network for an undisclosed price (rumored to be around $40Mn).

From my own perspective, I would have liked TechCrunch to remain independent and I reckon, they could grow it over $100Mn of worth for sure. The biggest advantage of staying independent is that you don’t need to bother about corporate relationships too much while writing posts that are sensitive in nature or break disruptive secrets (angelgate?). Change in ownership may affect that uniquely aggressive style of reporting. However, AOL also bought Weblogs Inc. in the past and that has hardly made any difference to Engadget or any other blog or its style of reporting so hopefully,  we may not notice any difference in TechCrunch reporting as well.

But one thing that’s out of limelight is what Jason Calacanis, Mahalo’s founder has to say about this deal. As we all know, Jason Calacanis has had deep relations with both the parties involved in the deal here. It was Jason Calacanis who created Weblogs Inc. and did that first-ever deal(worth $25Mn) of selling a blogging empire to AOL Inc. And it was the same Jason Calacanis who collaborated with Mike Arrington to set the foundation for startup launch event TechCrunch50.

Eventually, Internal conflicts started breeding and Calacanis got thrown out and TechCrunch50 got  a relaunch as TechCrunch Disrupt. On paper, if TechCrunch50 ceased to exist, Calacanis, who had equal authority on TechCrunch50 brand as Mike had, had no reasons to ask Arrington for awarding equal authority on TC Disrupt as well, but that’s on paper.

In actual, almost everyone who remains plugged into the startup world knew that TechCrunch Disrupt was just a name-change for already popular TechCrunch50 event, mainly to corner Calacanis and avoid any liabilities for him in case TechCrunch gets acquired. As tech events had become an important part of TechCrunch’s revenue machine, it was actually an evil-planned move by Arrington to sideline Jason Calacanis and eat the largest pie all alone.

When Jason heard about the rumor of TC acquisition, he tweeted

AOL is making a big mistake if they buy @techcrunch. They can’t keep a liability like @arrington around as public company+w/o mike it’s nothing

To an extent, Jason was correct as it’s mighty hard for any loyal TC follower (me included) to imagine Arrington being governed by someone else (Tim?) but now, it’s already a fact that TC has gone AOL so only time can tell what’s up next.

After the news of TechCrunch acquisition broke out, Jason tweeted…

It is now complete: @arrington stole @techcrunch50 from me, sold to AOL & laughed in my face. I will have my revenge:

On his blog, Jason wrote his frustration out…

Mike Arrington double crossed me,
Left me for dead to make a quick buck
He stole from me, and my family.

On the birth of my daughter you didn’t call
You sent no flowers or tidings of AOL.
Three months later you laughed in my face
While you explained how you would screw me.

I will have my revenge, in this life
*not* the next.

I’m coming, and you will learn what
A lack of loyalty and honor brings sir.
I will not rest until vengeance is mine.

Personally speaking, I tend to agree with Jason’s school of ethics more than often, whether it be about Facebook or any other company and with the kind of picture that I have about Michael Arrington (after being a close follower of him since late 2007),  I voice my support for Jason and wish may Arrington get the taste of his own medicine, someday !

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