Yahoo—home to all those email addresses you use for subscriptions you'd rather not have anyone else know about, and the Flickr account you probably haven't updated since 2010—will soon be under the same umbrella as former web 1.0 rival AOL, with Verizon agreeing to acquire the ancient online operation for $4.8 billion.
After multiple media outlets reported the acquisition over the weekend, both Verizon and Yahoo confirmed the deal Monday morning.
"Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers," explains Lowell McAdam, Verizon's chairman and CEO. "The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising."
The Verizon deal will include all of Yahoo's online properties. What Big V is not acquiring is Yahoo's more expensive asset—its 15 percent ownership stake in Chinese online retail giant Alibaba and its shares of Yahoo Japan. Bloomberg reports that those two pieces alone are currently worth around $40 billion, more than eight times the sale value of Yahoo's online businesses.
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According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon plans to keep the Yahoo brand intact and seems to believe it can keep much of the existing Yahoo sites and services up and running, continuing to offer an alternative to Google and Microsoft's Bing.
The notion of Yahoo selling off its namesake e-businesses arose in late 2015, in response to shareholders who proposed the sale as an alternative to the planned spin-off Yahoo's Alibaba stake into its own operation.
Industry watchers immediately put Verizon at the top of the list of potential buyers, even though the telecom titan had just recently completed a $4.4 billion acquisition of another '90s relic AOL.
The Yahoo acquisition, much like the AOL deal, is likely intended to boost Verizon's online advertising business. Buying Yahoo means you get its huge cache of registration data and email addresses that could be coupled with Verizon's existing consumer data and the targeted advertising tech acquired from AOL.
At the time, a price tag on Yahoo was placed at around $2 billion to $2.5 billion, but that value has increased significantly in the last nine months.
In June it was reported that Verizon was willing to pay $3 billion for Yahoo, but an apparent bidding war with AT&T for the company appears to have worked to Yahoo’s benefit, pushing the value to a higher level than the AOL acquisition.
Of course, the $4.8 billion figure is only around 3.8 percent of Yahoo’s peak market value of $125 billion.
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