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(simply known as AOL,originally known as America Online, stylized as Aol.) is an American global mass media corporation based in New York that develops, grows, and invests in brands and web sites such as The Huffington Post, Tech Crunch and Engadget.
At the height of its success, it purchased the media conglomerate Time Warner.In May 1983, Jim Kimsey became a manufacturing consultant for Control Video, which was near bankruptcy.Kimsey was brought in by his West Point friend Frank Caufield, an investor in the company.On May 24, 1985, Quantum Computer Services, an online services company, was founded by Jim Kimsey from the remnants of Control Video, with Kimsey as Chief Executive Officer, and Marc Seriff as Chief Technology Officer.Subscribers bought a modem from the company for US$49.95 and paid a one-time US$15 setup fee.Game Line permitted subscribers to temporarily download games and keep track of high scores, at a cost of US$1 per game.
The telephone disconnected and the downloaded game would remain in Game Line's Master Module and playable until the user turned off the console or downloaded another game.
In January 1983, Steve Case was hired as a marketing consultant for Control Video on the recommendation of his brother, investment banker Dan Case.
However, as dial-up rapidly lost ground to broadband in the mid-2000s, AOL's fortunes significantly retracted and it lost the vast majority of its value, laying off thousands of employees.
AOL was eventually spun off, and Time Warner is worth fourteen times the value of AOL, as of late 2015.
AOL began in 1983, as a short-lived venture called Control Video Corporation (or CVC), founded by Bill von Meister.
Its sole product was an online service called Game Line for the Atari 2600 video game console, after von Meister's idea of buying music on demand was rejected by Warner Bros.