4. AOL Buys Netscape

Sale Price: $4.2 billion
Year: 1998

In the '90s, AOL was perceived in a way not unlike Google is today: synonymous with the Internet itself. The dial-up provider and internet services giant made a massive bid to acquire the alternative browser Netscape in order to liberate itself from the tyranny of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Netscape was never able to detract significantly from IE's market share, however, and as the browser field became more crowded, the once iconic application was shuttered. A number of Netscape engineers went on to create Mozilla Firefox.