AOL expected to dole out patent money in buyback- report

June 25, 2012

AOL has finally decided how to distribute the pile of cash it received from Microsoft when it sold the software titan the majority of its patent portfolio for more than $1 billion, according to AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, who reported its will be in the form of a buyback. The announcement is expected later this week, Swisher said.

An AOL spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The patent sale was one of the big sticking points for the activist hedge fund Starboard, which failed in its attempt to gain  seats on the AOL board during a proxy fight that played out in mid-June.  One battle of many was over who first had the idea of selling the patents–Starboard or AOL. Throughout the spring both sides made their case: AOL had said it was already in the process of auctioning off its patents way before Starboard starting amassing a stake in the troubled Internet company. Starboard alleged it pushed AOL to liquidate the majority of its patents.

Either way, shareholders win.

Swisher cited sources close to the matter that said AOL ultimately went with the buyback after talking with shareholders and because it made the most sense from a tax perspective.

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