Verizon to acquire Yahoo!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On Monday, US telecom giant Verizon announced acquisition of Yahoo! for a reported amount of US$4.83 billion (4.36 billion). Per the all-cash deal, Verizon would own only the core web business — in particular, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba would not be acquired by Verizon.

Going public in 1996, Yahoo! provided e-mail service a year later. Once having a worth of US$ 125 billion, Yahoo!'s value on Friday's closing was about $37 billion. Eight years ago, Microsoft offered US$44 billion for Yahoo!'s acquisition. The deal is expected to complete next year.

File photo of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, 2011.
Image: Magnus Höij (Flickr).

Last year, Verizon gained ownership of Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Engadget as it purchased their owner America Online (AOL) for US$4.4 billion. Acquisition of Yahoo! means Verizon would own micro-blogging website Tumblr which was purchased by Yahoo! under ex-Google employee and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer in 2013. Tumblr was formed by school dropout David Karp in 2007. Verizon would also own photo sharing site Flickr, acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.

Yahoo! received bids from the owner of The Daily Mail as well as from AT&T — another American telecom giant. After handing over ownership to Verizon, Yahoo! would be selling about 3,000 patents at auction.

Though Mayer has expressed she would like to remain the CEO, CNBC reported Verizon CEO Marni Walden is yet to decide the leadership team. Mayer said it was a big day for Yahoo!.

This acquisition would end Yahoo!'s 20 years as an independent company and an early-emerging company in Silicon Valley, California. The company started as "Jerry and David's Guide To The World Wide Web" in 1994, by Jerry Yang and David Filo based at Stanford University.