Feeds

ICQ chatted up by Russian billionaires

AOL offloads IM service

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.