Feeds

ICQ chatted up by Russian billionaires

AOL offloads IM service

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Russian investors have bought ICQ, the venerable instant messenger service, from AOL for $187.5m.

The deal was announced today by Digital Sky Technologies, an investment group backed by Yuri Milner, a media baron, and Alisher Usmanov, the controversial Uzbek commodities plutocrat who owns a large stake in Arsenal FC.

After dotcom-era success, the popularity of ICQ has waned in the West. In Israel, where it was developed, and former Soviet countries, it remains a leading instant messenging service however.

AOL bought ICQ back in 1998, from its developer Mirabilis, for $407m. It now registers 32 million users per month. In 2001 it announced it had 100 million registered users.

AOL, currently amputating non-profitable arms as it aims to refocus as a digital publisher said today: "Digital Sky Technologies is a leading innovator in the Internet investment space and has a significant presence in the markets where ICQ is strong."

The Russian group is dominant in its home market, claiming responsibility for 70 per cent of all web page views. In the West its most significant investment to date has been its $200m purchase of 2 per cent of Facebook. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.