Verizon Acquiring Yahoo for $4.8 Billion, by Kara Swisher
Adam Rifkin stashed this in @karaswisher
Kara Swisher wrote two days before everyone else:
Verizon will also be getting a mass of media assets, some of which are still powerful, such as Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports, and others not so much. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo spent large sums on content — such as its $1 billion acquisition of Tumblr and a deal to bring TV news star Katie Couric to the network — that have not paid off.
The same is true with Mayer’s intense — and many say misguided — plunge into mobile search technology, in an effort to make an end run around Google. Very little of her massive investment there has seen the light of day, and it is not clear if Verizon will continue it.
Also no surprise: Mayer is not expected to stay on after the deal is wrapped up in the fall, said sources, and it is unclear how many of Yahoo’s current execs will remain. Many have had their options accelerated, but someone has to keep the lights on until Verizon gets to fully claim its prize.
It seems likely that effort will be run by Armstrong, who had once tried to get Mayer to consider merging the companies. He was pretty much rebuffed by her, but the idea of an AOL-Yahoo merger has been around for a long time and almost happened a few of those times.
Here’s me writing about possible mergers of the pair in 2006. Then in 2008! Also 2010! And 2011! By the way, when AOL was really powerful in the mid-1990s, Yahoo was also given an offer by then-exec Ted Leonsis, as I reported in my book on AOL from then. (Conclusion: I have been covering Yahoo and AOL for too long.)
Mayer and Armstrong were also top execs at Google in its early days and have tangled since over talent raids while at Yahoo and AOL. (Remember the Ned controversy? Me either, but I did seem to write about it a lot!)
Well, finally it looks like it’s going to happen. And it will be really hard.
"This is going to be a very tough integration," said one source, who noted that Yahoo and Verizon have spent very little time on the specifics of how the companies will coordinate pretty much everything. "The unknowns are as big as the knowns."
Translation: It’s Yahoo, Jake.
Actually, maybe not anymore — it’s not clear if Verizon will keep the well-known brand. Whatever the case, the sale marks a definitive end to one of the internet’s most iconic and pioneering companies as an independent entity.
I tried everyone for a comment and no one seems to be home today. I wonder what they’re up to?