Verizon Buys Yahoo In $4.8 Billion Attempt To Bore The Internet To Death

from the hip-to-be-square dept

Remember when Yahoo rejected a $44.6 billion offer by Microsoft? Good times. After months of redundant rumors about the bidding process, Verizon has confirmed that it has acquired Yahoo in a $4.8 billion all cash deal. According to Verizon’s press announcement, the acquisition of Yahoo’s stumbling empire will position Verizon as a superpower in the new media age, helping the formerly stodgy telco in its pivot toward slinging ads at Millennials. As you might expect, the press release trots out AOL boss Tim Armstrong to sell a dull deal he claims will finally let poor Yahoo shine:

“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.”

Verizon executives have acquired Yahoo and AOL in the belief they can pivot from a government-pampered telco mono/duopoly to a Facebook and Google-esque advertising juggernaut. And while there is little doubt that the advertising technology acquired from these deals will be useful in Verizon’s quest to monetize the company’s 140 million mobile subscribers, there’s been little to no evidence that Verizon is actually competent enough to execute its own game plan.

Verizon’s jumping into the media and advertising game because mobile and fixed broadband subscriber growth is slowing to a point where it’s incredibly profitable, but just not profitable enough for Wall Street. And if you’ve followed the net neutrality fights, you’re probably aware that most telcos believe they’re absolutely entitled to a larger share of ad revenues — simply because they built the networks these services run over. The problem (for these telecom companies) is that most of them have spent so long as government-pampered duopolies focusing on lobbying and turf protection, innovation and competition are alien concepts.

As a result, pivoting from stodgy telco to hip Millennial-focused ad empire has had an almost comical learning curve for Verizon execs. You might recall it began with Verizon launching its own tech blog dubbed Sugarstring, where its reporters weren’t allowed to even mention subjects like net neutrality or surveillance. As that effort was busy imploding, Verizon’s advertising arm was busted covertly modifying wireless user data packets to track consumer behavior around the Internet. This is of course all while Verizon was busy trying to deliver a killing blow to net neutrality; not exactly endearing itself to its target audience.

After several years of stumbling, Verizon launched a new, hip streaming video service Go90, which by most measurements has been a disappointment, despite Verizon’s anti-competitive practice of zero rating the service. Now we’re to believe that the combination of multiple, marginal 90s brands will somehow be the missing ingredient needed to transform Verizon into a media and advertising god, despite the fact Verizon has shown minimal competence and an aggressive, active disdain for the users it’s trying to target. Good luck with that, Verizon.

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Companies: aol, verizon, yahoo

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Comments on “Verizon Buys Yahoo In $4.8 Billion Attempt To Bore The Internet To Death”

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

I wonder if this will change the Mozilla / Yahoo contract.

Firefox has Yahoo as a default search engine, which I had to change instantly after any installation. But their substitute for Google Now turns it into Yahoo search which cannot be changed without some incantations and a virgin sacrifice.

I ended up uninstalling Firefox from my phone since there was no evident means to undo the change or otherwise edit my parameters. Not for want of research to do just that.

Anonymous Coward says:

If you don,t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it,
big corporation buys web media company,
in a few years it does nothing with it.
fails ,writes it off as a loss .News at 11.
Big corporation launches streaming service, no one watchs it.
Maybe yahoo patents
are worth a few million.
In a few months time i expect to see 1000,s of yahoo
workers laid off .
I wonder how many web video streaming services in the us are
making a profit .
Theres used to be a new social media service launched
every month ,
now its a new streaming service .

Anonymous Coward says:

just die already.

Honestly, I thought yahoo was irrelevant/extinct. Why would anyone want to buy them? Furthermore why would anyone still use them?

When I first used the internet (1997) I got on yahoo because it had categories of linked/similar sites. But once Google came around I never went back to yahoo. And I hadn’t heard of anyone I know go back to yahoo either.

How could they claim to be worth even more than 4 Billion? Guess all the hardware and office space is worth something.

SpaceLifeForm says:

Re: Yahoo useful in 1994, dying pre-y2k

This from one that downloaded mosaic
via ftp to run on a real xterm.
So I could use Yahoo.
It was actually good 22 years ago.
Yes, I am pre-internet.
Hell, I am pre-AOL dialup!
Do not question me.
I’ve been doing IT longer
than most of you have been alive.
Back from stoneages of 1200baud
modems, x.25, 10 inch flopies.
Removeable 240mb disc drives.
Greenbar. Bi-directional file transfer
between mainframes and Tandems before
FTP existed.
And computers with 10mb ram.
Yeah, 10, not 8, not 16. Ten.
9 track tape. uucp. Oh and do not
ever forget hollerith. Best invention
ever! Machine and human readable.
Wrong, I just recalled baudot code on
yellow punched paper tape with a
real teletype.
(which is where baud rate came from)

Finding bugs in microcode
(do you really know what microcode is?
Do any of you know what microcode
djump means? Maybe a few)

Yep, old and still fucking ticking!

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Yahoo useful in 1994, dying pre-y2k

Well, on the old IBM 1130, the removable disks were something over a foot in diameter, I don’t know if they were technically floppies or not, they may have been rigid removable disks like Iomega Zip Disks. The IBM 1130 was manufactured about, I think, 1965 (first-generation transistor, with magnetic core memory), and had made its way, on a hand-me-down basis, to a university computer lab by 1981.

If you want to tell real “fish stories,” it helps to have been professionally engaged in whaling or shark-catching. Parenthetically Gavin Maxwell, in his Harpoon Venture, a memoir of actual shark-catching in Scotland in the 1940’s, observes pragmatically that the shark which gets away is by definition the biggest one, because it is strong enough to simply wreck the fishing tackle in its bid for freedom.

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