Verizon is one of the biggest US mobile operators (Photo: Verizon)

Verizon, which has pursued a strategy to reduce its dependence on its core wireless business, has agreed to buy AOL for about 4.4 billion dlrs.

The acquisition marks another step in Verizon's efforts to build digital and video platforms, the company said in a press release. AOL will further drive LTE wireless video and so-called over-the-top video, which refers to the delivery of media content over the internet. The acquisition also will support Verizon's internet-of-things strategy, the company said.

“Verizon’s vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement. "This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience.”

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who will continue to lead AOL operations after the acquisition, said the combination of the two companies "creates a unique and scaled mobile and OTT media platform for creators, consumers and advertisers."

AOL was one of the first online companies. It started out as a provider of online access and dial-up internet services. Today, AOL offers a wide range of digital news and information products. The well known Huffington Post news and commentary site is owned by AOL, as are the specialist technology web sites TechCrunch and Engadget

The acquisition of AOL, which Verizon expects to fund through cash on hand and commercial paper, is expected to close this summer.