Verizon just sold AOL, Yahoo at a loss to the Venetian casino owner
AOL and Yahoo can perhaps be considered relics of the Internet’s past. One of the first communication platforms and search engines, respectively, the two have long been displaced from their markets and have never fully recovered. There has been no shortage of attempts to revive their brands or embark on new ventures but those might have finally come to an end now that Verizon has sold the two off, along with the rest of Verizon Media, to an equity firm better known for owning one of Las Vegas’s most popular resort hotels.
For years, Verizon has been trying to turn some of its acquisitions into profits. Those acquisitions were composed mostly of AOL and Yahoo and the companies that those two themselves acquired before getting bought by one of the US’s biggest network operators. That long list includes popular tech and automobile news sites and, for a short while, the controversial Tumblr social network.
Recently, however, Verizon has been going on a spree to actually sell off those properties. Switching from the poorly-named Oath to Verizon Media, the properties were purchased for around $9 billion in total. Now The Verge reports that Verizon Media was sold off to Apollo Global Management for $5 billion, nearly half of what it cost Verizon to acquire them in the first place.
Apollo owns the Venetian resort as well as Michaels crafts retailer so it might be puzzling what it would do with the myriad of properties under Verizon Media. Probably nothing directly yet but the deal allegedly includes Verizon’s ad tech business, which is arguably more interesting and more relevant to someone like Apollo.
Interestingly, Verizon Media will change its name to Yahoo and will be headed by its new CEO Guru Gowrappan. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company but there has been no word yet on what will become of the original Yahoo’s existing services and customers. Of course, the deal is still subject to regulatory approval though it’s hard to see anyone from the tech market objecting to the sale.