This Day In Market History: AOL Is Founded

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On this day in 1985, Quantum Computer Sciences was founded in Delaware.

Where The Market Was: The Dow finished the day at 1,301.97. The S&P 500 traded at 188.29.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1985, Coca-Cola Co KO launched New Coke, triggering major backlash from customers. Michael Jordan was named NBA Rookie of the Year. Average monthly rent in the U.S. was $375.

AOL Is Born: Tech enthusiasts may not remember the name Quantum Computer Sciences, but they sure remember the company itself, which changed its name to America Online, Inc. in 1991. Of course, most early internet users simply know it by the acronym AOL.

Quantum Computer Services launched its first instant messaging service in 1989. After going public as AOL in 1992, the company reached the 1-million-user mark by 1995. Within a year, its user base had expanded to 5 million.

During the dot-com bubble in 1999, AOL acquired both Moviefone and Netscape. AOL’s market cap peaked at $222 billion in December 1999.

In 2001, AOL merged with Time Warner in a $350-billion deal that is often mentioned as being among the worst mergers in history.

Time Warner spun off AOL in 2009, and Verizon Communications, Inc. VZ bought AOL's remaining assets for $4.4 billion in 2015.

In May 2021, Verizon sold its Verizon Media assets, including the AOL and Yahoo platforms, to Apollo Global Management for $5 billion.

Photo by Thiago A./Wikimedia. 

Posted In: AOLthis day in market historyEducationTop StoriesTechGeneral