back to article Yahoo! and! AOL! sold! for! $5bn! as! Verizon! abandons! media! empire! dreams!

Verizon has sold its media division, including the early internet portals Yahoo! and AOL, to Apollo Global Management, a private equity fund, for $5bn, it announced on Monday. The US telco giant will pocket $4.25bn in cash with preferred interests of $750m, and keep a 10 per cent stake in Verizon Media in a deal that is …

  1. DJV Silver badge

    $5Bn?

    You mean they were worth more than $5? Who'da thunk it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $5Bn?

      Imagine having money invested with Apollo only to find out they've pissed $5bn up the wall buying this total mess.

  2. ST Silver badge
    FAIL

    Brilliant Business Strategy

    - 2015: Buy AOL for $4.4 Billion. No-one understands why.

    - 2017: Buy Yahoo! for $4.5 Billion. No-one understands why.

    - 2021: Sell both for $5 Billion. Because, well, why did you buy them in the first place?

    Now I understand why all those MBA's are getting paid the big bucks.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Brilliant Business Strategy

      Don't forget the previous incarnation: AOL + Time-Warner in 2000. $182B. But, of course, it made TW what it is today (part of AT&T and worth less than half of that 2000 price).

  3. Steve K Silver badge

    Yahoo breaking their Oath?

    Yahoo breaking their Oath...?

    I also forecast a sale of redundant exclamation mark stock from the El Reg headline desk in coming weeks.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: Yahoo breaking their Oath?

      Yahoo breaking their Oath ...

      Struth!

  4. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    standards! being! maintained! at! el! reg!

  5. rcxb Silver badge

    “Verizon Media has done an incredible job turning the business around over the past two and a half years and the growth potential is enormous,” Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

    When Verizon bought Yahoo in 2016, it had a search market share of about 3%. Now they're around 1.5%. That's an impressive turnaround, no question. Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/worldwide/2016

    With low numbers like that, there is certainly growth potential, but also death-spiral potential.

    1. @infosec_jcp
      Meh

      Wot aboutism

      So.. wot about the ARPU AND CURN AND BURN and the run rate num's? *Checks 10-k fillings*

      Oh. Lost 1/2 the market share and whatnot. Uh.

      Uhm. Does this mean the sign off the HWY-101 before you go to Oakland stays or goes at this point?

      RIP AMPEX SIGN... Looking sad next to where @Home use to be (Now Standford MedSomething).

      *Shrug.gif*

  6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    PT Barnum

    I am reminded of the quote ascribed to PT Barnum: "There is a sucker born every minute". I am surprised anyone would spend $5bn for the lot, more line $5 would be fair price for those dumpster fires.

  7. HildyJ Silver badge
    Devil

    You've got fail!

    All in all, I think Time-Warner screwed up AOL while Yahoo!did it on their own. But why Verizon thought they could turn around these companies is beyond me.

    P.S. I can't claim credit for the title, it was Pocketables' headline.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: You've got fail!

      Because all the kids love Yahoo! and so they would buy phones at Verizon to get their Yahoo! - cos that's how the internet works

  8. Michael Hoffmann
    Unhappy

    Patents?

    As I can't imagine what else would be worth 5billion, is there any indication there's a patent portfolio worth trolling with?

  9. Peter Prof Fox
    Pint

    Pay me. I can pee over a hundred yards.

    Well, like sawing a woman in half, I haven't actually done it but I'm willing to try. Cash up front.

    There are some things we humans do that are bonkers: Believe in Gods. Assume programs will work. Pretend that support required will be minimal. Discount the need for documentation. I can understand how some cryptocurrencies might work. Why is there so much free Covid testing in the UK in supermarket car parks? Because it is 50% accurate. (50% of actual +ves reported) Toss a coin.

    So the world is full of bogus deals, but why do BILLIONS get thrown at a few trademarks? I haven't seen many Equity Funds investing in Hansom Cabs, stagecoaches, semaphores, fleets of narrow boats, 8-track-tapes, transistor radios and penny-farthings.

    Why?

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

      Re: Believ[ing] in Gods

      Don't need the plural -- just one God will suffice for me, although the whole trinity thing (one? or three?) is understandably a bit confusing to many folks.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Believ[ing] in Gods

        >although the whole trinity thing (one? or three?) is understandably a bit confusing to many folks.

        Not really: Odin, Woden and Grimnir are all just different names for the same God

    2. nijam Silver badge

      Re: Pay me. I can pee over a hundred yards.

      > I haven't seen many Equity Funds investing in Hansom Cabs, stagecoaches, semaphores, fleets of narrow boats, 8-track-tapes, transistor radios and penny-farthings.

      I assume you mean recently. I'm sure they (or their equivalents) did in the good old days.

    3. @infosec_jcp

      Re: Pay me. I can pee over a hundred yards.

      The riding crop market may or may not have taken off since the horse and buggy days for some reason?

  10. Blackjack Silver badge

    Looks like my Yahoo and AOL e-mail accounts will finally die.

  11. cheb

    It's going to end with a whimper, not a bang.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    4.4 + 4.8 = 5

    That's not a media empire dream, it's a nightmare.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how come yahoo is still a thing?

    just hurry up and die yahoo. you will not be missed.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: how come yahoo is still a thing?

      The original Yahoo information model was quite clever. Unfortunately they abandoned it and the search architecture built on top of it, losing their only distinctive feature.

  14. Roj Blake

    They Paid $4,999,999,999.99 Too Much

    See title.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: They Paid $4,999,999,999.99 Too Much

      You have to take into account the value of the internet's biggest collection of exclamation marks.

      In today's hyper exaggerated internet - exclamation marks are very valuable

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tumblr

    so, err, does this mean Tumblr's going to be full of porn again soon?

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Tumblr

      "Verizon sold Tumblr in 2019 to Automattic, the parent company of WordPress"

      Unless Automattic have reversed the changes to the Tumblr T&Cs made during the Verizon ownership its doubtful. Since the free Wordpress.com hosted blogs don't allow adult content either.

  16. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Refuse! Resist!

    The! exclamation! point! cannot! be! removed! it! is! part! of! mankind! history!

  17. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Those CDs were not SPAM

    A friend (no, really) made a nice set of fish-scale armor out of them one Halloween.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Those CDs were not SPAM

      I knew people who hung them in windows to warn birds away. (There was a popular notion this would discourage birds from flying into the glass; I have no idea if this has been tested in any methodologically-sound fashion.)

      For a while it was popular in some circles1 to hang one from the rear-view mirror of one's car, which would occasionally reflect the sun right into the driver's eyes.

      And, of course, they were commonly used as coasters.

      1Heh.

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Priceless quote

    AOL has proven that they have the ability to send a CD or three to every chordate on the planet once a month.

    -- Douglas Henke

  19. Dave559 Bronze badge

    Cursed Oaths!

    Ah, yes, TechCrunch, Engadget, etc, those are those sites which put up a terrifying full-page cookie slurp notice barricade in your way before you can even try to read whatever article you have unwittingly followed a link to. There's a reason why I avoid them and therefore would never even think of having them on my regular "must read" list (unlike this esteemed publication). Good riddance to them!

    A bit of a shame about Yahoo itself, though. In the olden days, its directory, web search, services like eGroups/Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Finance were very useful, but while most of the world was on pay-per-minute dial-up, the rest of their web services rather less so, while you had to watch the clock. By the time broadband came around, the Yahoo websites (like Alta Vista before them) had become an overweight mess of advertising and bloated home pages, and some minimalist lightweight startup had appeared and came along and Gobbled up, sorry, Googled up, their lunch, although they too later turned into a many-tentacled monster, but by that time the damage had been done, and I don't think Yahoo ever recovered from that. They maybe could have had a chance with Flickr, but it never seemed to move much beyond a bit of a niche.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cursed Oaths!

      *oath" and "reach" are both awful in that way.

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