Are you buying an ICQ audience for

    A month ago, the first rumors appeared that AOL was negotiating the sale of ICQ, but no one even knew about the buyer’s candidacy. Now the situation has cleared up.

    Today, Vedomosti, citing several sources close to the participants in the potential deal, confirmed the fact of negotiations between AOL and the Russian investment holding Digital Sky Technologies (DST).

    “An ICQ audience might come in handy for controlled by DST. The fact is that has a similar project “” with a monthly audience of about 12 million users and ICQ is its main competitor in Russia, ”the newspaper Vedomosti reports.

    The deal may amount to $ 200-250 million. However, another source (close to the DST manager) said that negotiations are still at an early stage and specific amounts have not yet been discussed.

    It should be noted that ICQ is the most popular Internet pager in Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel and some smaller countries. Its monthly audience is, according to various estimates, from 33 to 50 million people.

    According to Finam, the active audience of ICQ is 42 million people, including 25 million in Russia. This is how the Russian audience segmented, according to Finam:

    6 million - an official client from the ICQ site;
    5 million - Rambler ICQ;
    4 million - Yandex ICQ;
    10 million - QIP from RBC.

    Interestingly, the information from Vedomosti was quickly reprinted by the largest Western online publications, including Cnet ( link ) and TechCrunch ( link ). TechCrunch adds that DST is far from the only bidder. Allegedly, Google and, to some extent, Skype are also participating in the auction.

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