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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.
Game Line permitted subscribers to temporarily download games and keep track of high scores, at a cost of US$1 per game.The Quantum Link software was based on software licensed from Play Net, Inc, (founded in 1983 by Howard Goldberg and Dave Panzl).The service was different from other online services as it used the computing power of the Commodore 64 and the Apple II rather than just a "dumb" terminal.Under his leadership, the company invested in media brands and advertising technologies.On June 23, 2015, AOL was acquired by Verizon Communications for $4.4 billion.In 1987, Case was promoted again to executive vice-president.
Kimsey soon began to groom Case to take over the role of CEO, which he did when Kimsey retired in 1991.
Gerald Levin, who had served as CEO of Time Warner, was CEO of the new company. Michael Kelly (from AOL) was the Chief Financial Officer, Robert W.
Pittman (from AOL) and Dick Parsons (from Time Warner) served as Co-Chief Operating Officers.
This also coincided with a new "carpet bombing" marketing campaign by CMO Jan Brandt to distribute as many free trial AOL trial disks as possible through nonconventional distribution partners.
At one point, 50% of the CDs produced worldwide had an AOL logo.
AOL was one of the early pioneers of the Internet in the mid-1990s, and the most recognized brand on the web in the U. It originally provided a dial-up service to millions of Americans, as well as providing a web portal, e-mail, instant messaging and later a web browser following its purchase of Netscape. AOL rapidly declined thereafter, partly due to the decline of dial-up to broadband.