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AOL said to lay off 150 as it moves to automate advertising sales

[NEW YORK] AOL Inc is laying off about 150 employees and folding two sites into the tech website Engadget as it simplifies its portfolio and automates digital advertising sales, according to a person familiar with the company's plans.

Most of the layoffs this week come from AOL's sales division, said the person, who declined to be identified because the information hasn't been made public.

The company has focused on becoming a major player in programmatic advertising, or using high-powered machines to buy and sell online ads, thereby reducing the need for sales staff.

Some layoffs will come as AOL folds two properties - Joystiq, a gaming site, and TUAW, a blog that covers Apple news - into Engadget, the person said Friday.

The layoffs were reported earlier by TechCrunch.


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