AOL chief Tim Armstrong says he's hopeful the Verizon-Yahoo deal will close despite discount rumors

AOL chief Tim Armstrong: I remain hopeful that Verizon-Yahoo deal will close
AOL chief Tim Armstrong: I remain hopeful that Verizon-Yahoo deal will close

Verizon's proposed purchase of Yahoo, marred by news of breaches of Yahoo users' accounts, is likely to go through despite the rumored discount Verizon may receive, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told CNBC on Thursday.

"The hacking news that came out of Yahoo ... is something that Verizon and the general counsel of Verizon is dealing directly with Yahoo on," Armstrong said. "I remain hopeful the deal will close and I think we'll see what the outcomes are of the Yahoo investigations in the meantime."

While he said he would not comment on any potential discounts Verizon may receive, Armstrong told "Squawk on the Street" that in the meantime, Verizon and Yahoo are working to effectively assimilate the two companies in the event that the deal is successfully completed.

"I think we're in a position where our 2020 goals are really clear. We want to get to billions of consumers. Yahoo is one step in that process," he said. "Our focus area right now is making sure the culture and the teams work well together in terms of the potential integration."

On Thursday, Armstrong told NBC News that Verizon plans to decide whether it will follow through with the Yahoo deal in "the first half of the year."

Armstrong is no stranger to integration efforts. In June 2015, AOL became a subsidiary of Verizon after the telecom giant acquired it for $4.4 billion. Since then, others in the industry have followed in Verizon's footsteps, Armstrong said.

"People have recognized that distribution and content work very well together," he said, citing the AT&T-Time Warner deal as a "prime example" of the trend.

The AOL chief said that companies are focusing on gaining access to consumers through digital routes like mobile and mobile video, a shift that he said AOL and Verizon noticed and acted on more than a year ago.

"[I] love what's happening in the industry because I think it's a total validation of what we did together with Verizon 18 months ago," Armstrong said.

Armstrong spoke to CNBC from the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The trade show attracts more than 3,800 companies involved in consumer technology development and innovation and more than 165,000 attendees.

At the show, Verizon and AOL revealed their new "BrandBuilder suite," a program for advertisers that allows them to more transparently and securely find and convert new customers to their brands, he said.

"One hundred percent of the advertising industry is now moving toward software-driven, data-targeted advertising," Armstrong said.

"If you're a customer of ours and you want mobile consumers, which everybody wants, we are uniquely positioned with Verizon to bring AOL ad systems and Verizon data together to do really differentiated business in the advertising world," he said.

Correction: Armstrong is "hopeful" the deal will close. The headline of an earlier version mischaracterized his thoughts on the deal.