Verizon is reportedly preparing a $3bn bid for Yahoo’s internet business, which will include the core search site, Yahoo Mail and what remains of Yahoo! News.
Verizon would also scoop up an array of miscellaneous web products and services, including Yahoo Answers and Yahoo Finance.
The bid, which was reported in the Wall Street Journal based on an anonymous source, would fit with Verizon’s bulk-buying spree of internet products, and would follow their purchase of dotcom relic AOL last year. First reports that Verizon was preparing a first-round bid back came back in April, with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong proposed to take over as Yahoo CEO.
The Yahoo network still attracts significant traffic; total traffic in May 2016 alone was 6.5bn monthly page views, according to third-party analytics site Similar Web, making it the fifth most visited website in the world.
Yahoo was founded in 1994 as a directory of web links called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, and was renamed as an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”. It grew swiftly to become one of the internet’s early superpowers off the back of the online advertising boom, but failed to adapt its product significantly as the market changed and has been left behind by the rapid growth of both Facebook and Google.
Much like AOL, Yahoo has struggled against its reputation as a phenomenon of the early era of the internet. The company’s finances have been increasingly dire, leading to a writedown of assets that forced CEO Marissa Mayer to announce that the company had made a $4.4bn loss during the final quarter of 2015.
A report in Vanity Fair showed that despite hiring big names like high-profile TV news presenter Katie Couric, Yahoo’s foray into the media business ran aground, as it both struggled to accommodate the culture of a media company and lacked editorial direction; in February it was announced that the company was shuttering a number of its recently-launched online magazines and cutting 15% of its editorial workforce, or 1,700 jobs.
Marissa Mayer is widely expected to stand down as CEO with any takeover deal and will leave with a severance package of around $110m.
Several companies have been reported to be interested in purchasing the ailing internet company, including the publisher of the Daily Mail, Time Inc and Google.
This article was written by Nicky Woolf in Los Angeles, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 7th June 2016 20.59 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010