AOL has collected final bids to purchase instant messaging (IM) service ICQ. The bids came from Russia’s Mail.ru-major owner Digital Sky Technologies (DST) and Rambler‘s owner ProfMedia as well as from Chinese IM service QQ-owner Tencent, reported newspaper Vedomosti.
ICQ has 42 million active users, of which 18.5 million or 44% are in Russia.
The Russian entertainment media group ProfMedia offered $120 million for ICQ, the newspaper said. The Rambler-branded IM client software Rambler ICQ has 5 million active accounts. Rambler Media first partnered with AOL‘s ICQ in 2005. The company should have earned revenues of $6 million from advertising in Rambler ICQ in 2009.
Mail.ru has 12 million registered users of its own instant messaging client software Agent@Mail.ru. It’s #2 popular IM software client in Russia, behind ICQ. Russian internet investment group DST, which owns majority of Mail.ru, offered more than $120 million for ICQ, reported Vedomosti.