Verizon just made a big play in the telecommunications field.
Verizon announced Monday in a press release that it will be acquiring the search, mail, content and ad-tech businesses from Yahoo, to be merged with Verizon’s AOL unit.
“Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers,” Lowell, McAdam, Verizon Chairman and CEO, says in a press release. “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.”
Marissa Meyer, CEO of Yahoo, says, “Yahoo is a company that has changed the world, and will continue to do so through this combination with Verizon and AOL. The sale of our operating business, which effectively separates our Asian asset equity stakes, is an important step in our plan to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo. This transaction also sets up a great opportunity for Yahoo to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising and social.
“Yahoo and AOL popularized the Internet, email, search and real-time media. It’s poetic to be joining forces with AOL and Verizon as we enter our next chapter focused on achieving scale on mobile. We have a terrific, loyal, experienced and quality team, and I couldn’t be prouder of our achievements to date, including building our new lines of business to $1.6 billion in GAAP revenue in 2015. I’m excited to extend our momentum through this transaction.”
According to Business Insider, the move will double Verizon’s digital advertising business, which will ultimately reach 4.5 percent of the US internet advertising market. This will give the company the third largest reach into that market, behind Facebook’s 17 percent and Google’s 36 percent.
“Our mission at AOL is to build brands people love, and we will continue to invest in and grow them. Yahoo has been a long-time investor in premium content and created some of the most beloved consumer brands in key categories like sports, news and finance,” says Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL. “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. 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.”
While Verizon will take control of this part of the business, Yahoo’s stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan will remain. In addition, Yahoo will retain its cash, noncore patents, convertible notes, and other minority investments. From Business Insider, “When the deal closes, that part of Yahoo will change its name and become a publicly traded investment company. The company says it intends to return “substantially all” of its net cash to shareholders.”
More from Verizon’s press release:
The addition of Yahoo to Verizon and AOL will create one of the largest portfolios of owned and partnered global brands with extensive distribution capabilities. Combined, AOL and Yahoo will have more than 25 brands in its portfolio for continued investment and growth. Yahoo’s key assets include market-leading premium content brands in major categories including finance, news and sports, as well as one of the most popular email services globally with approximately 225 million monthly active users*. Additional technology assets in the advertising space include Brightroll, a programmatic demand-side platform; Flurry, an independent mobile apps analytics service; and Gemini, a native and search advertising solution.
The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, approval by Yahoo’s shareholders, and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in Q1 of 2017. Until the closing, Yahoo will continue to operate independently, offering and improving its own products and services for users, advertisers, developers and partners.