TechCrunch may be famous for running stories of dubious reliability, but this one is for sure. AOL has acquired the blogging network that covers sites like TechCrunch proper, Mobile Crunch, and Crunch Base. Much as they did with the acquisition of Weblogs Inc., AOL looks to be taking a hands-off approach to the TechCrunch network. "TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will join the AOL Technology Network while retaining their editorial independence..." said AOL in the press release.
No one is talking directly about price, but many have been floating numbers in the tens of millions. Some estimates go as high as $75 million. It is unclear if TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington will stay or go, but most observers are betting on 'go". After all, it's a pretty big payday. TechCrunch writers will reportedly split a small amount of stock, which will make for a nice bit of walking around money too.
AOL has been busily transforming into a content company over the last few years, and this is just one more example of that process. Having Engadget and TechCrunch under one roof makes AOL a real force online.