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Going, Going, Gone: Yahoo Finally Sells to Verizon


For the past several months, Yahoo Inc. has been struggling to keep its head above water, cutting jobs and putting its patents, real estate and core internet business up for sale.  In an effort to turn things around for the once great internet giant, CEO Marissa Mayer has tried just about everything, and now she’s waiving the white flag.  Verizon will take it from here. 

Mayer first announced plans to sell late last year, declaring 2016 a year of transition for Yahoo and expecting “accelerating growth in 2017 and 2018.”  The tech company received more than 10 bids ranging from $4-8 billion during first-round proposals in April, including an alleged $3 billion bid from Verizon for its core web assets.  Now, Verizon is closing the deal, reported today to be worth nearly $5 billion.  While Verizon’s post-purchase plans aren’t entirely clear quite yet, the communications company certainly seems to be building its online presence.  Just last year, Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion. 
 
Also up for grabs is Yahoo’s “Excalibur” patent portfolio, first rumored to be worth more than $1 billion.  A recent report by TurboPatent, however, suggests that nearly half of these patents contain “high severity issues,” which could lead to invalidation down the road.  Forbes also recently published its analysis of Yahoo’s patents, estimating the bunch to be worth less than $200 million. Whether or not the collection of over 4,000 patents and pending applications will be a money-maker for Yahoo is still up for debate, but Verizon doesn’t seem interested in the portfolio as a part of its deal- at least, not at this time.  

In a recent press release regarding the sale, Mayer states, “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…We have a terrific, loyal, experienced and quality team, and I couldn’t be prouder of our achievements to date.”