Criticism from Investors
Earlier this year a U.S. hedge fund with a large stake in AOL criticized the strategy of the current management for failing to deliver for shareholders and sought a shakeup.
Starboard Value said in a February letter to the AOL board it was "troubled that the company remains closed-minded to alternative value creation initiatives, and instead appears solely focused on pursuing the status quo."
Starboard proposed five nominees for the AOL board at the next annual meeting.
AOL has been losing money since the collapse of its leadership as an Internet subscription service, and has been seeking to become a more diversified Web firm.
The company fused with news and entertainment giant Time Warner in 2001 at the height of the dotcom boom in what is seen as one of the most disastrous mergers ever. It was spun off by Time Warner in December 2009 into an independent company.
Under Armstrong, hired three years ago, the company formerly known as America Online has invested heavily in online content, purchasing The Huffington Post and TechCrunch websites and putting money in local news network Patch.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, the companies said.
AOL did not release details on the patents being sold or licensed. But a report last month by the research firm Envision IP said AOL could get value from about 140 patents related to online communications, focused mainly on instant messaging and email technology.
The report said AOL also owns 77 patents related to search engine technologies, some dating back to the "formative years of Internet development" from 1995 to 2001. Also of value were 41 patents for voice communication including Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) used for Internet telephony.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012