First up for auction last fall, AOL has finally offloaded ICQ
on Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) -- a suitable new home. While ICQ has steadily lost popularity in the West, it's still a leading IM service in Russia and other nations in the region.
AOL acquired ICQ in 1998 from developer Mirabilis for around $400 million. It had roughly 100 million registered users in 2001, but is now home to only 32 million users per month -- around 25% of which are located in Russia, where it claims the top spot for instant messaging.
DST purchased ICQ for $187.5 million, a bit lower than AOL's $200 to $250 million asking price, and was among several potential buyers early on. Other interested parties included Naspers and Rambler media, and some say Google, Yahoo, as well as Skype also eyed the service at some point.