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Richard Drew, Associated Press
Specialist Ronnie Howard, left, and trader Tommy Kalikas work at the post that handles AOL on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Verizon is buying AOL for about $4.4 billion, advancing the telecom's push in both mobile and advertising fields.

Verizon announced this morning plans to buy Internet services pioneer AOL in a $4.4 billion deal. Here are some highlights from AOL's history.

— 1985: Company is founded as Quantum Computer Services and offers an online service named Q-Link.

— 1989: Quantum launches instant messenger service that greets users with the saying "You've got mail!"

— 1991: The company is renamed America Online through an employee contest.

— 1992: America Online, commonly called AOL, goes public on the NASDAQ exchange.

— 1993: AOL starts sending disks to thousands of households to connect them to the Internet.

— 1995: AOL's service reaches 1 million members, the company debuts its AOL.com homepage and expands internationally.

— 1996: AOL hits 5 million members and launches the Buddy List for chatting.

— 2000: AOL's market value reaches about $164 billion near the height of the dot-com boom.

— 2001: AOL completes combination with Time Warner Inc. in a deal valued at more than $160 billion when it was announced the year before.

— 2006: Company officially changes its name to AOL and starts offering its services for free.

— 2009: Time Warner spins off AOL, ending a union widely viewed as one of the worst mergers in history.

— 2011: AOL's market value slips to about $1.1 billion as its share price falls below $12. Company purchases The Huffington Post.

— 2014: AOL creates joint venture with investment firm Hale Global to run its troubled local-news business Patch.

— 2015: AOL market value is down to $3.34 billion.

Sources: AOL.com, SEC filings, FactSet, Associated Press reports.