The drama appears to be over, and Verizon is expected to announce an agreement to acquire Yahoo before markets open this morning. They had been the favorite going in, but faced some competition from both AT&T and private equity sources in what felt like a rather long auction process.
Verizon will be paying $4.8B for Yahoo’s core internet business and its real estate. In an earlier round they had bid $3B, but that didn’t include the real estate holdings. The stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba are not included in the purchase, as generally expected. They’ll be retaining the Yahoo brand, but integrating the business with their AOL division. But even then, Verizon’s advertising platform has a long way to go to truly challenge the likes of Google and Facebook.
Yahoo was once worth over $200B back in the day, but has been a shadow of its former self for years. Marissa Mayer’s attempt to turn the company around didn’t pan out, and they began the sale process earlier this year. Now we’ll get to see just what Verizon has in mind for its growing content and advertising presence.
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