Verizon finally buys Yahoo for $4.8 billion

The saga surrounding Yahoo’s new ownership has finally reached a resolution, with Verizon reaching an agreement to acquire its operating business for $4.83 billion.

Talk of Verizon sizing up a potential bid for the internet media giant has been ongoing since the early part of the year, with various in-the-know sources suggesting an $8 billion bid would be forthcoming in April. With rumours of a possible bid from telco rival AT&T, along with interest from VC firms, the soap opera has progressed at glacial speed for the past three months. Today, though, Verizon announced it has reached an agreement to acquire for just under $5 billion for its internet and media assets outside of Japan.

Verizon also owns AOL, the online media firm, and already includes brands such as The Huffington Post, Engadget and Tech Crunch in its portfolio. Verizon will add Yahoo’s 1 billion monthly users – of which 600 are on mobile, apparently – to its portfolio with AOL, and will host 25 major internet brands as well as Yahoo’s e-mail client, which it claims is the most popular email service globally with more than 225 million customers.

“Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon 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.”

“We have enormous respect for what Yahoo has accomplished: this transaction is about unleashing Yahoo’s full potential, building upon our collective synergies, and strengthening and accelerating that growth,” said CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong. “Combining Verizon, AOL and Yahoo will create a new powerful competitive rival in mobile media, and an open, scaled alternative offering for advertisers and publishers.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer stated her intentions on staying with the company post-Verizon completion, saying “I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.”

The sale does not include Yahoo’s cash, its shares in Alibaba or Yahoo Japan, its investments or non-core patents. Instead, these assets will be held by Yahoo, which is due to rebrand and become a registered, publicly traded investment company once the deal closes. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2017.

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