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First on CNBC: CNBC Transcript: AOL Chairman & CEO Tim Armstrong Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Today

WHEN: Today, Tuesday, May 12th

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with AOL Chairman & CEO Tim Armstrong on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today. Following is a link to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000378815.

All reference must be sourced to CNBC.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: WE HAVE A SPECIAL GUEST. HE IS FIRST ON CNBC AND WE'RE THRILLED TO HAVE HIM JUST MINUTES OR EVEN SECONDS AFTER THIS CROSSED THE TAPE. TIM ARMSTRONG THE CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF AOL WHO IS DOING THIS DEAL AND WILL REMAIN WITH THE COMPANY. TIM, GOOD MORNING TO YOU.

TIM ARMSTRONG: HEY, ANDREW. HOW ARE YOU DOING?

SORKIN: I THINK WE ARE ALL – WELL, LET'S START WITH WE'RE ALL SURPRISED. LET'S JUST GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

ARMSTRONG: AOL HAS FOCUSED IN ON WHAT I THINK ARE THE TWO LARGEST GROWTH MARKETS IN THE WORLD WHICH WILL BE VIDEO AND MOBILE. BOTH OF THOSE ARE PROJECTED TO BE $40 BILLION EACH OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE BUILT OUR SYSTEMS, OUR TALENT AND THE GLOBAL SCALE OF WHAT WE'RE DOING IN THAT DIRECTION. AND VERIZON HAS BEEN ONE OF OUR BIGGEST PARTNERS AND BEST PARTNERS SINCE I'VE BEEN AT THE COMPANY. AND I THINK THERE WAS JUST A NATURAL SET OF CONVERSATIONS THAT HAVE HAPPENED OVER TIME AND, YOU KNOW, OVER THE LAST COUPLE MONTHS THAT GOT MORE SERIOUS. AND I THINK WE SHARE A COMBINED VISION AND THIS WILL BE ONE OF THE LARGEST SCALE, MOST EXCITING, YOU KNOW, BIGGEST PLATFORMS FOR THE FUTURE OF MOBILE AND OTT CONTENT AND VIDEO, AND ADVERTISING. IT'S VERY, VERY POWERFUL PLATFORM.

SORKIN: TIM, WHY SELL NOW?

ARMSTRONG: I'M SORRY.

SORKIN: I SAID WHY SELL NOW. WE'RE SORT OF IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF CONTENT. ARE WE AT THE TOP OF THE GOLDEN AGE?

ARMSTRONG: NO. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT AOL OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS. AOL IS A COMPANY THAT, YOU KNOW, WE TURN THE COMPANY AROUND, WE OUTPERFORM THE S&P 500 FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE TODAY AND WHERE WE'RE GOING, WE'VE MADE AOL AS BIG AS IT CAN POSSIBLY BE IN TODAY'S LANDSCAPE. BUT IF YOU LOOK FORWARD FIVE YEARS, YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN A SPACE WHERE THERE ARE GOING TO BE MASSIVE GLOBAL SCALE NETWORKS AND THERE IS NO BETTER PARTNER FOR US TO GO FORWARD WITH THAN VERIZON. SO IT'S REALLY NOT ABOUT SELLING THE COMPANY TODAY. IT'S REALLY ABOUT SETTING UP FOR THE NEXT FIVE TO TEN YEARS. AND WE'VE SPOKEN FOR YEARS ABOUT THIS. OUR VISION HAS REMAINED CONSISTENT. THE WORLD IS CHANGING AND FOR AOL AND FOR OUR SHAREHOLDERS, TODAY IS A GREAT DAY. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, FOR AOL'S TALENT AND THE NEXT FIVE YEARS WITH VERIZON I THINK WE'RE GOING TO DO A LOT OF MEANINGFUL THINGS.

JOE KERNEN: WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN STOCK, TIM. THIS IS JOE.

ARMSTRONG: JOE, YOU KNOW I'M ONE OF THE ONLY CEOs IN THE COUNTRY THAT HAS INVESTED TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MY OWN COMPANY. I'VE NEVER SOLD A SHARE. AND I'M GOING TO BE HIGHLY INVESTED IN VERIZON. I'M GOING TO BE THERE AS ONE OF THE EXECUTIVES AT VERIZON. AND I'M SUPER EXCITED.

KERNEN: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BE HIGHLY INVESTED – OH, WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR DEAL AT VERIZON. ARE YOU GOING TO BE HIGHLY INVESTED IN VERIZON? YOU GOING TO BUY VERIZON STOCK?

ARMSTRONG: I WILL CERTAINLY BUY VERIZON STOCK, THE SAME WAY I BOUGHT AOL STOCK. AND I'M REALLY EXCITED TO WORK WITH LOWELL AND HIS TEAM.

KERNEN: WHAT WAS YOUR CHEAPEST PRICE ON YOUR ACQUISITION OF AOL? DO YOU REMEMBER?

ARMSTRONG: IT WAS IN THE 20s, PROBABLY. THE LOWEST WHEN I BOUGHT STOCK MYSELF, PERSONALLY.

KERNEN: WHAT WAS IT WHEN THE DAY YOU STARTED? WHAT WAS THE COMPANY WORTH? WAS IT UNDER $1 BILLION?

ARMSTRONG: NO, WE HAD TRADING THAT STARTED BEFORE WE SPUN OUT AT TIME WARNER, BUT THAT WAS IN THE LOW 20s. SO IT WOULD BE 23, 24.

SORKIN: TIM, CAN YOU SPEAK TO THIS LARGER ISSUE THAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE YOU CAME ON. WHICH, ACTUALLY, AND I KNOW YOU'RE ON THE AOL SIDE, BUT SPEAK TO THE VERIZON ISSUE. WHICH IS, WHY THE PIPE BUSINESS NEEDS TO OWN CONTENT NOW.

ARMSTRONG: WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK I HAVEN'T STARTED AT VERIZON YET. THE DEAL'S ANNOUNCED BUT NOT CLOSE. SO I'M NOT GOING TO COMMENT ON ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH VERIZON UNTIL I'M OFFICIALLY IN THERE. BUT YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY THAT IF YOU LOOK AT THE MEGA TRENDS ACROSS THE INDUSTRY, COMPANIES LIKE VERIZON THAT HAVE DONE AN AMAZING JOB OF BUILDING OUT. VERIZON HAS 1.5 BILLION CONNECTED DEVICES IN THE UNITED STATES. THEY TOUCH 70% OF THE INTERNET TRAFFIC IN THE UNITED STATES. SO IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE ABLE TO DO FROM A VALUE ADD SERVICES STANDPOINT, I THINK THEY ARE GOING TO PUT MORE HIGH QUALITY PREMIUM VIDEO AND MORE HIGH QUALITY ADVERTISING AND COMMERCE. AND THEN THE INTERNET OF THINGS IS GOING TO HIT AND I THINK YOU ARE GOING TO SEE COMPANIES LIKE VERIZON BE IN A VERY GOOD POSITION FOR THE FUTURE AND I THINK YOU SEE THAT HAPPENING ACROSS OTHER COMPANIES IN THE MEDIA, IN DISTRIBUTION LANDSCAPE.

MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA: SO PLAY THIS OUT FOR ME. THIS IS MICHELLE, GOOD MORNING.

ARMSTRONG: HEY MICHELLE.

CARUSO-CABRERA: SO I HAVE A VERIZON PHONE AND A YEAR FROM NOW, WHAT CAN I DO ON THAT PHONE THAT'S RELATED TO AOL CONTENT THAT I COULDN'T DO BEFORE? WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN IN TERMS OF THE ACTUAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?

ARMSTRONG: SURE. SO, I THINK, YOU KNOW, NUMBER ONE, I THINK VERIZON, AND I WON'T SPEAK FOR THEM, BUT MY GUESS IS THAT THE FOLKS AT VERIZON ARE GOING TO DO WHATEVER IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CONSUMER. PART OF THAT WILL BE AOL CONTENT AND SERVICES FOR SURE. AND SOME OF OUR POWERFUL BRANDS LIKE THE HUFFINGTON POST AND TECH CRUNCH. BUT ALSO, I THINK, THERE IS A LARGER STRATEGY AT VERIZON WHICH HAS REALLY BEEN CENTERED AROUND REALLY MAKING THE CONNECTION FROM THE HOME TO THE PHONE TO THE CAR. YOU KNOW VERY EASY FOR CONTENT AND SERVICES. SO I THINK WHAT YOU'LL PROBABLY END UP WITH IS A MUCH DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH VERIZON OVER TIME IN TERMS OF VERIZON DOING A VERY GOOD JOB OF US SERVING YOU BETTER CONTENT AND BETTER COMMERCE OPPORTUNITIES AND AOL WILL BE ONE PIECE OF THAT.

SORKIN: DO YOU EXPECT A LOT OF YOUR CONTENT, AOL CONTENT, HUFFINGTON POST CONTENT, TO BECOME EXCLUSIVE TO VERIZON? OR DO YOU EXPECT IT TO CONTINUE TO BE OPEN AND BROADLY AVAILABLE. DOES THAT LIMIT YOU?

ARMSTRONG: YOU KNOW, ANDREW, OUR STRATEGY HAS BEEN AN OPEN STRATEGY AT AOL AND I THINK THAT VERIZON HAS OBVIOUSLY DONE AN AMAZING AMOUNT OF FAIRLY LARGE DEALS WITH THE NFL. AND EVEN IF YOU LOOK AT THE WAY THE NFL CONTENT HAS BEEN GOING ON OTHER PLATFORMS, SPONSORED BY VERIZON. I THINK THEY HAVE TAKEN A VERY OPEN APPROACH. WE DON'T HAVE ANY BUSINESS PLANNING DONE YET AND THAT WON'T BE DONE UNTIL AFTER THE DEAL ACTUALLY CLOSES. BUT I THINK YOU SHOULD ASSUME THAT VERIZON AND AOL ARE VERY OPEN PLATFORM APPROACH, BY THE WAY. AND THAT WILL BE VERY DIFFERENTIATED FROM SOME OF THE LARGER SILICON VALLEY PLAYERS THAT HAVE HAD MORE CLOSED BUSINESSES. I THINK WE'RE TAKING A VERY BIG AND OPEN APPROACH TO THIS OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. AND I THINK LOWELL McADAM AND THE TEAM AT VERIZON HAVE BEEN VERY FORWARD THINKING IN SOME OF THE AREAS LIKE TELEMATICS AND THE OTHER DEALS THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING ACROSS THE BOARD FOR THE FUTURE. SO WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT TODAY AND THERE IS A VERY BIG SHARED VISION BETWEEN THE COMPANIES.

SORKIN: TIM, NOW THAT YOU'VE DONE THIS DEAL, MAYBE WE CAN GO BACK TO HISTORY AND YOU CAN HELP US SORT OF GO THROUGH YOUR THINKING OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. YOU HAVE LONG BEEN SPECULATED AS A MERGER CANDIDATE WITH SOMEBODY. WHETHER IT BE YAHOO! AT CERTAIN POINTS, WHETHER IT BE OTHER CONTENT COMPANIES. TO THE EXTENT YOU CAN, CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH SOME OF THE PERMITATIONS THAT YOU AND THE BOARD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT?

ARMSTRONG: YEAH, AOL'S BOARD AND FRED REYNOLDS, OUR LEAD DIRECTOR, IS SOMEBODY THAT I WORK WITH. I TALK TO HIM EVERY SINGLE WEEK AND WE'VE SPOKEN HUNDREDS OF TIMES OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEARS AT AOL. I WAS JUST WITH THE AOL BOARD YESTERDAY AROUND CLOSING THIS DEAL OFF. AND YOU KNOW, REALLY, WHEN WE SPUN OUT OF TIME WARNER, THE PLAN WAS TO BASICALLY BE REALLY BIG AT CONTENT, VIDEO AND ADVERTISING. AND I TIHNK THE ITTERATIONS AT AOL HAVE BASICALLY STAYED ON THOSE PATHWAYS AND I THINK THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF NOISE AROUND AOL OVER THE YEARS ABOUT MERGERS AND PARTNERSHIPS AND THOSE THINGS. BUT I THINK A LOT OF IT JUST COMES TO THE FACT THAT WE HAVE 4,500 REALLY TALENTED PEOPLE HERE AND WE BASICALLY, THE WAYNE GRETZKY QUOTE OF IT'S NOT WHERE THE PUCK IS, IT'S WHERE THE PUCK IS GOING. AND I THINK AOL SKATED TO WHERE THE PUCK WAS GOING TO BE AND TODAY IS PROBABLY THE SINGLE BEST EXAMPLE OF WHY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN AOL.

KERNEN: TIM, I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY YOU COULD HAVE LOOKED AROUND AT WHAT WAS AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO ACQUIRE WITH YOUR SIZE. AND YOU COULD HAVE MADE A DECISION ON WANTING AOL TO STAY AOL, AND I'M GOING TO BUILD THIS IN TO SOME TYPE OF BEHEMOTH. SO YOU MADE A DECISION THAT THAT WASN'T GOING TO BE THE ROUTE TO GO. I'M GOING TO BE PART OF A MUCH BIGGER ENTERPRISE. I MEAN, THAT IS THE MAIN DECISION YOU MADE.

ARMSTRONG: YEAH, WELL I MEAN JOE, IF YOU TAKE A STEP BACK AND YOU SAY, BASED AT OUR SIZE SCALE AND YOU THINK ABOUT THE MOBILE PLATFORM SHIFT HAPPENING IN OTT, YOU KNOW, I'VE SAID THIS ON YOUR PROGRAM BEFORE. I MEAN, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THERE ARE 40, 50 COMPANIES CHASING PROBABLY WHAT IS TEN SEATS OR SO, 7 TO 15 SEATS AVAILABLE. SO THIS IS A CHANCE FOR US TO BASICALLY PULL UP A CHAIR WITH VERIZON, YOU KNOW, AT THE TABLE. AND WE'RE STARTING OFF AT A COMBINED PLATFORM THAT WILL BE SCALE WISE, GOOGLE, FACEBOOK SIZE OVERALL. SO WE ARE IN A VERY, VERY STRONG POSITION AND MY DECISION AS CEO AND THE BOARD'S DECISION WAS REALLY ABOUT FOR SHAREHOLDERS. WE HAVE OUTPERFORMED THE S&P 500 FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS. THE QUESTION IS, WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GO FORWARD? WE COULD GO OUT AND ACQUIRE COMPANIES, BUT THE BIGGEST, FASTEST WAY FOR US TO HAVE SHAREHOLDERS GET A RETURN, BUT IN OUR TALENT TO REALLY HAVE A BIG BRIGHT FUTURE WAS TO BASICALLY GET A BIG CHAIR AT A BIG TABLE AND THAT IS WHAT THIS DEAL IS ALL ABOUT.

CARUSO-CABRERA: AND TO WHAT DEGREE IS THIS JUST ABOUT HOW ADVERTISING ON PHONES JUST DOESN'T PAY THE SAME. THAT RELYING ON THE ADVERTISING MODEL ISN'T NECESSARILY THE BEST WAY TO GO IN TERMS OF A STRICTLY INTERNET PLATFORM.

ARMSTRONG: YOU KNOW MICHELLE, I ACTUALLY, MAYBE I HAVE BEEN CONTRARRIAN ON THIS OVER TIME, BUT I THINK IT HAS WORKED OUT, IS WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT MOBILE AND TARGETED ADVERTISING, YOU KNOW, YOUR AD PRICES ARE GOING TO GO UP, THE ABILITY TO HAVE BETTER ADS, MORE CONSUMERS, MORE TIMELY WITH BETTER ANALYTICS BEHIND IT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING TODAY AND I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THINGS LIKE PRIVATE MARKET PLACES AND PROGRAMMATIC BASICALLY MAKE MOBILE SHINE. AND I'M HOPING THE SHINIEST COMPANY IN THE MOBILE SPACE IS GOING TO BE THE COMBINATION OF VERIZON AND AOL. AND BOTH OF THOSE MARKETS, VIDEO FOR MOBILE AND MOBILE ADVERTISING, ARE BOTH PROJECTED TO GROW AT 30 TO 40% EVERY YEAR OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. AND WE'RE GOING TO BE STARTING OFF WITH THE SINGLE BEST COMBINED PLATFORM, I THINK.

KERNEN: I, TIM ARMSTRONG, THOUGHT ABOUT LEGACY. AND IT'S A GOOD DEAL. YOU CAME FROM GOOGLE OR SOMETHING. AND THEY SAID, WHAT IS HE DOING GOING TO AOL? SO, HERE, THE BOOK GETS CLOSED. TIM ARMSTRONG 20 TO 50. NEW YORK POST ON SUNDAY HAS THAT WINNERS AND LOSERS THING. WINNER, TIM ARMSTRONG, SELLS AOL TO VERIZON. SO, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN PEG IT AT 50 AND IT'S DONE. YOU'RE A WINNER. YOU SUCCEEDED IN TURNING AOL AROUND AND NOW YOU CAN MOVE ON. WHO KNOWS. AND YOU'RE A YOUNG GUY, RIGHT? AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT?

ARMSTRONG: JOE, I HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH YOU OVER THE YEARS. AND YOU KNOW IT'S ABOUT THE FUTURE.

KERNEN: I KNOW YOU. I KNOW. AND THE EMPLOYEES.

ARMSTRONG: JOE, LISTEN, MY WIFE ASKED ME ONE QUESTION WHEN I TOOK THE AOL JOB. SHE SAID –

KERNEN: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

ARMSTRONG: SHE SAID THAT, TOO. BUT SHE SAID, DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET THE PEOPLE TO HELP TURN THE COMPANY AROUND, AND I SAID YES. AND I THINK TODAY, BEFORE I LEFT THIS MORNING, SHE SAID, DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO DO IN THE FUTURE? AND I SAID YES AND I MEAN THAT BECAUSE I THINK VERIZON IS –

KERNEN: WELL, YOU CAN ALWAYS GO ON BACK DOWN TO 20, TIM. IT COULD HAVE GONE BACK DOWN AND CRASHED AND BURNED. EVEN FROM HERE ON OUT. SO NOW, BOOM, 50. IT'S DONE.

CARUSO-CABRERA: SHOULD WE MARK THIS MOMENT? THIS NO LONGER A SEPARATE LISTING OF AOL. SOMETHING THAT I KNOW FROM THE HISTORY OF CNBC. WE KIND OF RODE IT WITH YOU.

SORKIN: THAT IS TRUE.

CARUSO-CABRERA: I DON'T KNOW, IN MY LIFETIME, IT'S INTERESTING TO HAVE SEEN IT. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO FEEL BAD THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO BE LISTED ANY MORE?

ARMSTRONG: NO. MY JOB IS NOT WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPANY IS LISTED, IT'S WHETHER OR NOT OUR TALENT GETS THE LIST IN THE FUTURE. AND I THINK THIS DEAL IS GOING TO ALLOW THE 4,500 PEOPLE HERE AND PLUS THE 200,000 PEOPLE AT VERIZON TO BRING A GIANT PLATFORM TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE.

KERNEN: TIM, YOU HAVE A COUPLE HUNDRED MILLION. STEVE CASE OWNS HAWAII AND JERRY LEVIN HAS AN AROMA THERAPY PLACE OUT IN SANTA MONICA AND IS IN LIKE THE LOTUS POSITION. SO THAT'S ALL SAID AND DONE.

ARMSTRONG: AND I'M STILL GIVING CONSUMERS CONTENT AND ADVERTISERS BETTER RESULTS.

SORKIN: HEY, TIM, COUPLE OF QUICK THINGS. HELP US WITH THIS FIRST. WAS THERE AN AUCTION? SO JUST GIVE US BACK STORY HERE. MEANING, WHO WENT TO WHOM? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

ARMSTRONG: YOU KNOW, BASICALLY, THIS HAPPENED IN A VERY NATURAL WAY AND THERE WAS NO AUCTION. BASICALLY OVER THE COURSE OF TIME I SAT DOWN WITH LOWELL LAST SUMMER AT THE SUN VALLEY CONFERENCE AND WE TALKED ABOUT WHERE THE WORLD WAS GOING AND WE HAVE BEEN BIG PARTNERS SO WE WERE KIND OF REVIEWING WHAT THE COMPANIES WERE DOING TOGETHER. THAT SORT OF KICKED OFF SORT OF A NATURAL PROGRESSION TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY. AND I THINK FACILITATED BY NANCY PERETSMAN AND ALLEN & COMPANY AND MARTY LIPTON AND DAVID SHAPIRO AT WACHTELL ,WE WERE ABLE TO BASICALLY BRING THIS DEAL TOGETHER IN A WAY THAT I THINK WAS INCREDIBLY NATURAL. IF YOU LOOK AT THE TWO VISIONS OF THE COMPANIES AND THE PLATFORMS AND WHAT THIS DEAL IS ABOUT, BOTH COMPANIES WERE DOING THE SAME THING AND WE ARE BRINGING DIFFERENT FACETS OT THE TABLE.

CARUSO-CABRERA: IT'S TRADING SLIGHTLY ABOVE THE PREMIUM RIGHT NOW. YOU DIDN'T SHOP THIS TO ANYBODY ELSE?

ARMSTRONG: NO, I'M COMMITTED TO DOING THE DEAL WITH VERIZON AND I THINK WE CHOSE EACH OTHER BECAUSE THAT'S THE PATH WE'RE ON. I GAVE LOWELL AND MARNI WALDEN, THE TEAM AT VERIZON, MY WORD THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE IN A PLACE WHERE THIS DEAL IS GOING TO HAPPEN AND WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT.

SORKIN: IS THERE A BREAK-UP FEE?

ARMSTRONG: I'M NOT GOING TO COMMENT ON ANY DEAL SPECIFICS.

SORKIN: BUT THAT WILL BE OUT IN ONE OF THE FILINGS IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO, RIGHT?

ARMSTRONG: YEAH, IT IS A DEAL THAT IS A FIDUCIARY WELL DONE DEAL FOR OUR SHAREHOLDERS. BUT REALLY THIS DEAL HAS BEEN ABOUT PUTTING THE VISION TOGETHER WITH VERIZON.

SORKIN: BUT WHY, NOT TO PUSH YOU ON IT, BUT WHY NOT PURSUE AN AUCTION?

ARMSTRONG: YOU KNOW, ANDREW, I THINK THE PROCESS OF WHERE WE ARE AS A COMPANY RIGHT NOW AND THE PROCESS WE WENT THROUGH AND KNEW YOU GUYS COVERED, THERE WERE LOTS OF RUMORS ABOUT AOL IN GENERAL. SO, IF SOMEBODY, WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A PUBLIC COMPANY AND BEEN AVAILABLE. IF SOMEBODY WANTED TO COME DO A DEAL WITH US, I THINK THEY WOULD HAVE DONE IT. THE VERIZON DEAL HAS BEEN REALLY BUILT AROUND THE STRATEGY OF WHERE WE'RE GOING.

SORKIN: HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO STICK AROUND?

ARMSTRONG: I'M GOING TO BE THERE FOR – I SIGNED A DOCUMENT LAST NIGHT. I'LL BE THERE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.

SORKIN: IS THAT A YEAR, TWO YEARS? LONGER THAN TWO YEARS?

ARMSTRONG: NO, NO. LONGER.

SORKIN: LONGER THAN TWO YEARS.

ARMSTRONG: LONGER.

KERNEN: IS VERIZON, YOU KNOW FOR A FACT ITS GOING TO BE ALWAYS COMFORTABLE WITH THE HUFFINGTON POST CONTENT. WERE YOU, KNOWING YOU, WERE YOU ALWAYS COMFORTABLE WITH THE HUFFINGTON POST CONTENT, TIM?

ARMSTRONG: ONE OF THE BIGGEST WINNERS OUT OF THIS DEAL IS GOING TO BE THE HUFFINGTON POST BECAUSE THE HUFFINGTON POST IS GOING TO END UP BEING ON MORE PLATFORMS AND MORE PLACES ALONG WITH ALL OF THE OTHER CONTENT THAT VERIZON HAS AND AOL HAS.

KERNEN: IT DOESN'T OFFSET THE BIAS OF THE HUFFINGTON POST.

SORKIN: TELL ME THAT WHEN YOU CALLED ARIANNA THIS MORNING SHE SAID, MARVELOUS, DARLING.

ARMSTRONG: I GAVE ARIANNA ONE MESSAGE WHICH WAS THIS IS GREAT FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST AND THIS IS GOING TO BE HUGE. SO THAT IS THE SAME MESSAGE I AM GIVING THE WHOLE COMPANY.

SORKIN: WHAT DID SHE SAY BACK?

ARMSTRONG: I CAN'T TELL YOU THAT. WE HAVE A COMPANY MEETING LATER TODAY AND WE'LL DISCUSS ALL OF THAT INSIDE THE COMPANY. I DON'T KNOW. JOE, WERE YOU ON THE HUFFINGTON POST THIS MORNING?

KERNEN: YOU KNOW THAT I'M ON TEN TIMES A DAY.

ARMSTRONG: OK. ALL RIGHT. NOW THAT THE DEAL IS DONE, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO INCREASE IT TO 12 TIMES PER DAY. BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO BE DOING A LOT MORE STUFF.

CARUSO-CABRERA: ARE YOU A MASOCHIST?

KERNEN: I LOOK AT DRUDGE AND I LOOK AT HUFFINGTON POST. I WANT TO SEE. I LOOK AT POLITICO.

CARUSO-CABRERA: YOU KNOW WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE HUFFINGTON POST, I GET STUCK THERE. THEY DO SOMETHING WITH THEIR PAGE THAT MAKES IT SUPER STICKY. IT MAKES ME CRAZY.

KERNEN: NO. THEY ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING LIKE 20 CELEBRITIES THAT HAVE HAD GENITAL PLASTIC SURGERIES OR SOMETHING. OR BUTT IMPLANTS AND I HAVE TO LOOK AT EACH SINGLE ONE. KANYE, YOU'RE KIDDING! ANYWAY.

ARMSTRONG: SO, JOE, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OUT OF THE HUFFINGTON POST AND TECH CRUNCH AND ALL THE OTHER CONTENT WE OWN IS IT IS GREAT CONTENT AND IT IS REALLY STICKY. IT IS GOING TO GET EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER.

SORKIN: TIM, BEFORE YOU GO, LAST QUESTION JUST BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE GOING TO WATCH FOR TODAY IS WHETHER THERE BECOMES MORE SPECULATION, FRANKLY, ABOUT YOUR RIVALS AND COMPETITORS IN THE CONTENT SPACE AND WHETHER YOU THINK OTHER PIPES AND DISTRIBUTORS ARE GOING TO NEED AND WANT TO BUY THEM AS A RESULT OF SORT OF A DOMINOS-LIKE THEME HERE. YOUR SENSE THAT THAT MIGHT HAPPEN OR NOT?

ARMSTRONG: I WAS OUT AT THE NCTA SHOW WITH MICHAEL POWELL AND KARA SWISHER LAST WEEK AND WE WERE KIND OF CHATTING ABOUT THAT. I THINK THE REALITY IS THE FOG HAS LIFTED IN THIS INDUSTRY AND I THINK THE COMPANIES THAT DO THE BEST JOB OF BOTH DISTRIBUTING AND PROVIDING CONTENT AND SERVICES TO PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WIN. CONSUMERS WANT A SIMPLIFIED PLATFORM AND, AGAIN, I THINK THAT'S WHY THIS DEAL IS EXCITING NOW. WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH A SIMPLIFIED OTT THROUGH VIDEO PLATFORM AND WE'RE DOING IT WITH ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST AND LARGEST COMPANIES IN THE WORLD.

SORKIN: RIGHT. OK. TIM ARMSTRONG OF AOL. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FIRST RIGHT HERE ON CNBC. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE TRANSACTION.

ARMSTRONG: THANKS, SEE YOU SOON.

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