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From Domain Industry to TechCrunch, Now Arrington Cashes Out to AOL

Michael Arrington sells his business to AOL.

It’s official. AOL has purchased TechCrunch.

GigaOm was the first to break the news last night that AOL was buying TechCrunch. The popular tech blog confirmed the news today.

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington spent much of the five or so years directly before starting the blog bouncing around in the domain name industry. In 1999-2000 he worked for Real Names, which was supposed to be a competitor to domain names but ended up being more like a search engine placement service. In 2001 he worked for Global Name Registry, the .name registry, for about 8 months. Finally in 2003-2004 he worked for expired domain service Pool.com.

Arrington has been a vocal critic of the domain name industry since leaving, calling it “dirty”. He got into a comment war with Frank Schilling in 2007 when Schilling called him out for his change in attitude about the domain business. Arrington labeled Schilling “king of the squatters.” After a back and forth between the two, Arrington deleted the comments.

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  1. Jeff says

    Amazing.. Now AOL can sink techcrunch. Remember what they did to Netscape’s homepage? Tried to make it look like a DIGG clone? 😛

  2. Taylor says

    I did that handover from Netscape to Jason’s team. Always sad to see cya management culture crush the life out of people who sincerely try to make a difference.

  3. Barry Lebovitz says

    Maybe Arrington should of stayed in domains… He got a nice pay-off here, but I’m not sure how much profit this is after covering all his debts. He was a big spender, if you ever visited their HQ he rolled around on a segway all day lighting cigars with 100$ bills…lol…

    Anyway, TC should just put them-selfs in the deadpool because the startup industry hasn’t been interesting since twitter. Not to mention Arrington himself stopped writing about a year ago (besides the occasional monthly post to let people know of his upcoming events.)

    To me it was apparent Mike wasn’t interested anymore, and this is a perfect opportunity for him to start something new. Even though I disagree with him at times, I always liked how he never censored his blog, and never took endorsements, basically not selling out till the end… Kudos

  4. Ed Muller says

    Not surprising at all after meeting a few AOL members at DomainFest in NYC a few months ago. Acquisition of blogs and domains is clearly a stated plan of theirs going forward.

  5. Meyer says

    I visit Techcrunch everyday.

    I’m pretty sure I notice Arrington writing
    a few articles a week.

    As for his high life style (which I don’t
    know anything about), $ 30-40 mil. will
    pay for a lot of $ 100. bills to light his

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