AOL to buy Techcrunch

AOL is set to buy TechCrunch, at least according to the Wall Street Journal.

That AOL is thinking about it is not suprising. TechCrunch is a big and successful website with a loyal fanbase. AOL is trying to expand itself but has had no luck building such sites itself.

However TechCrunch is identified with founder Michael Arrington, in much the same way that the INQ was identified with Mad Mike Mageek. He is still working there and if he leaves then TechCrunch will suffer. So AOL’s Tim Armstrong (pictured)  will have his work cut out to keep him there.

AOL has tried to to acquire TechCrunch before. Once the talk got to $40 million before AOL decided it cost too much.

However the WSJ says that the announcement is likely to come onstage at Disrupt, TechCrunch‘s conference currently underway in San Francisco.

AOL CEO and Patrick Bateman lookalike Tim Armstrong is likely to make an appearance at the conference, and perhaps that’s when the announcement will be made.

Arrington and AOL have not said a word about the deal.

AOL in the past had acquired Weblogs, the blogging company behind Engadget, and it has been those that have helped AOL compensate for steep loss of traffic.