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For 2 Internet Giants of Old, Another Change of Hands

Verizon sells Yahoo and AOL
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2021 8:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – AOL and Yahoo are being sold again, this time to a private equity firm. Verizon will sell Verizon Media, which consists of the pioneering tech platforms, to Apollo Global Management in a $5 billion deal, per the AP. Verizon said Monday that it will keep a 10% stake in the new company, which will be called Yahoo. Yahoo at the end of the last century was the face of the internet, preceding the behemoth tech platforms to follow, such as Google and Facebook. And AOL was the portal, bringing almost everyone who logged on during the internet's earliest days. Verizon had hoped to ride the acquisition of AOL to a quick entry into the mobile market, spending more than $4 billion on the company in 2015. The plan was to use the advertising platform pioneered by AOL to sell digital advertising. Two years later, it spent even more to acquire Yahoo and combined the two.

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However the speed at which Google and Facebook have grown dashed those hopes and it became clear very quickly that it was unlikely to reach Verizon's highest aspirations for the two, writes the AP's Michelle Chapman. The year after buying Yahoo, Verizon wrote down the value of the combined operation, called “Oath,” by more than the $4.5 billion it had spent on Yahoo. As part of the deal announced Monday, Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and the minority stake. The transaction includes the assets of Verizon Media, including its brands and businesses such as Yahoo and AOL. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

(Read more Yahoo stories.)

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