Multimedia and telecom giant Verizon moves to acquire Yahoo online assets. With this $4 billion plus deal, Verizon adds to an impressive online portfolio that boasts over a billion users worldwide.
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to wonder what people even do with Yahoo anymore. I remember way back in early 2000s that Yahoo emails were a thing, but that can’t be worth $4.5 billion, can it?
Yahoo.com used to be the opening page of everyone’s internet. Attached to Bing, the quasi news site was a portal to internet searches and to log in to Yahoo mail.
In the past half decade, Yahoo has gobbled up a few other assets to add to it’s floundering portfolio, including Tumblr, Flickr, and the video advertising business BrightRoll, along with other assorted multimedia companies.
If you visit the site today, not much has changed, including the cut rate design and garbage clickbait news articles. The front page (and I didn’t get past that) is pretty swampy and unappealing. That no doubt contributed to the ongoing money leak out of the place to the tune of on average a half million per year.
As company CEO, Melissa Mayers chopped the Yahoo workforce in half and made some dubious acquisitions, all to justify her $900,000 A WEEK paycheque. Now that she’s overseen the sell off of Yahoo’s online assets, she’ll be laid off but with a comfy $168 million to see her on her way. Not bad for 5 years work dismantling an internet icon.
So What Now?
Verizon is an internet giant, so while $4.5 billion seems like a chunk of change to us plebes, for them it’s apparently a worthwhile gambit. Verizon seems to be in the business of chewing up small companies, laying off employees and using what is left to leverage a 100% profit generator, usually through the automated collection and dissemination of internet garbage.
Since acquiring AOL (also for around $4.5 billion – go figure), Verizon has laid off a handfulof the 6,000 employees it gained, and it now is poised to head to the chopping block once more. With this merger, an estimated 2,100 people will lose their jobs from cuts in both Yahoo and AOL departments.
Along with a lighter payroll, Verizon can combine Yahoo’s assets with AOL’s, which include Huffington Post, Engadget, MovieFone, MapQuest (remember MapQuest?), TechCrunch, and of course the AOL email service.
Why Would They Do This?
I’m sure that you were as surprised as anyone to hear that MapQuest is still a thing. TechCrunch is likely a good revenue generator through its publication ad platform and sure, AOL email is still a thing in some remote corners of the Midwestern US.
But is this enough to justify the not insignificant expense?
The new company, to be named Oath for inexplicable reasons, boasts that it has 1 billion users. While 140 characters isn’t really enough to explain how many of these users are actually active or just empty email accounts abandoned after the last Yahoo mail hack, presumably even a fraction of this billion would be sufficient user base to extract some pretty valuable data.
Today, that’s mostly where the money flows – to data. Data that you can collect on your users and sell to advertisers and other agencies for a healthy aggregate sum. Verizon isn’t hurting for cash – it’s a large telecom with actual clients who purchase actual (albeit poor) services. No doubt this little peanut that used to be a internet giant has enough collected user data to be an attractive prize, even at the cost.
The idea, though, that somehow Oath will be a powerful brand that will create within itself a multimedia empire is likely pie in the sky. For those users still comfortably using Yahoo for whatever unknown reason, doubtless your free email and fantasy sports league are safe. For the rest of us, it’s been a long time since we Yahoo’d, and it’s doubtful this merger will successfully pull us back in.
Do you Yahoo? Why do you? Let us know in the comments!