Verizon to sell AOL and Yahoo businesses to Apollo for $5 billion

Verizon must be a magician, because they just made half of their AOL and Yahoo investment disappear. Find out more about the deal to sell their media division to Apollo here.


Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and several other carriers have made sizeable investments in the media landscape over the years, with a variety of business outcomes. It appears that the road ahead for Yahoo and AOL will no longer be with parent company Verizon, as a $5 billion deal to sell the media assets to Apollo Global Management has been announced. This deal values the combined entities at a significant discount to the $8.9 billion price Verizon paid for and is a cautionary tale to companies attempting to enter the media space.

Verizon rebranded AOL and Yahoo! as Oath back in 2017.
Verizon rebranded AOL and Yahoo! as Oath back in 2017.

Verizon has been rumored to be shopping around their media asset portfolio over the past few years, successfully dumping HuffPost to BuzzFeed in 2020. The company has also receently sold off Tumblr and announced the shuttering of Yahoo Answers. Before they gave up on integrating media content into their services business model, the company rebranded Yahoo and AOL as Oath in 2017 for some reason. Oath never gained traction, and was ultimately rebranded again in 2018 as Verizon Media Group. 

Today's announcement of the sale of Verizon Media Group signals a material shift in philosophy at Verizon. Competitor AT&T is still investing in media with WarnerMedia powering their HBO Max subscription service. Comcast has also recently invested more in media with NBCUniversal powering its Peacock streaming service. Verizon's purchases were not as easily monetizeable as most of Yahoo and AOL's media assets were websites like TechCrunch, Engadget, Yahoo Finance, and Fantasy Football. 

Today's asset sale adds insult to injury for Verizon (VZ), as they were never able to turn a profit on Yahoo and AOL, and they are selling them at close to a $4 billion loss. Apollo Management Group and Verizon are set to close the deal by the second half of 2021. Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash as well as a 10% stake in the new Verizon Media Group, which will be rebranded to just Yahoo.

Verizon is done playing around in the media landscape.
Verizon is done playing around in the media landscape.

The fall from grace of AOL and Yahoo is certainly a cautionary tale for booming social media companies today. While things certainly appear to be peachy keen for Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat these days with their multibillion dollar valuations, the Internet is a fickle beast and can drop your platform from relevancy just as fast.

Verizon Media Group generated revenue of $1.9 billion during Q1 2021, so hopefully the renewed effort by Apollo Management Group to turn around these properties will work this time. Otherwise, we will be sure to report the next time that AOL and Yahoo get sold. Again. 

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