TechCrunch Shocked at AOL’s Secrecy on Huffington Post acquisition

Just a few hours ago the blogging world has been set ablaze  by the news of AOL acquiring the popular blog Huffington Post. The deal is worth $315 million. A few months ago AOL also had acquired TechCrunch, arguably one of the most visited and influential blogs when it came to technology. Huffington Post is known a blog that deal with politics. It’s founder Arianna Huffington will be Editor-in-Chief of all AOL web properties. This means she is also Editor-in-Chief of TechCrunch.

TechCrunch’s Disappointment

All this is business as usual when two smaller companies are taken over by a very big one. The two smaller companies can feel threatened by each other but over time work things out. The strange part about this unfolding was that Huffington Post’s acquisition was not broken first by TechCrunch! AOL slipped the news to everyone but it’s very own TechCrunch. Paul Carr from TechCrunch writes

We really have to stop being scooped by rivals on news affecting our own company. Tonight, courtesy of a press release that our parent company sent to everyone but us, we learn that AOL has acquired the Huffington Post for $315 million

Many might be wondering if this will lead to editorial arguments between Huffington and TechCrunch founder Micheal Arrington. A lot is being written about how Huffington Post leans more towards SEO content compared to TechCrunch. I think a lot of people are missing the bigger point.

The bigger point is how AOL treated TechCrunch. By not telling TechCrunch first about the acquisition they have, probably got the entire staff of TechCrunch distrustful of AOL.

AOL is not really a blog network. It started out as an ISP and added many other services and companies to its portfolio. In mergers and acquisition there are always things kept secret but releasing a scoop to your own web property’s rival is strange! This is probably why people trust old media less than ever.

Beginning of the End for TechCrunch!

I for one think, this could be beginning of the end for TechCrunch. With this action AOL showed that they do not really appreciate TechCrunch or people associated with it. They might have other ideas. When such instances happen, key personnel start looking for newer employers.

TechCrunch is great, because of its balance of tech news along with opinion. It also keeps churning out new content and avoids re-filtering their popular posts over and over again, which is what some other notable blogs do.

Hopefully AOL leaves TechCrunch alone and let’s it be, but I do not have high hopes. What are your views about Huffington Post and TechCrunch, being in one basket? Do drop in your comments.