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. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?