AOL, the once-dominant Internet portal, announced two moves aimed at pleasing shareholders: it will repurchase $600 million in stock and pay a special dividend of $5.15 per share. It’s a somewhat unorthodox move for a technology and media company. AOL received about $1 billion in cash from selling patents to Microsoft. But rather than invest in exciting new content businesses (as it did with The Huffington Post) or hiring expensive engineers to revamp its email system, AOL is essentially throwing the cash at its shareholders.
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