Yahoo and Verizon are due to announce $US5 billion deal

Marissa MayerPaul Morigi/Getty ImagesYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

It looks like Verizon will be the new owner of Yahoo.

The two companies are ready to announce that they have struck a roughly $US5 billion deal, according to a report in Recode, citing anonymous sources. The announcement could come on Monday, with both companies hoping to make it official before Tuesday when Verizon is scheduled to announce its quarterly financial results, Recode reports.

The terms of the deal are apparently still unclear, including whether it includes Yahoo’s trove of patents, or any of its real estate. And the deal would of course have to get regulatory approval.

But the news that the two companies have reached an agreement would mark the end of the auction process that Yahoo began earlier this year and which involved several interested bidders, including private equity firms.

The acquisition by Verizon, the largest telecommunications company in the US, also marks the final chapter to the tumultuous story of one of the internet industry’s pioneering companies. Yahoo was founded in 1994 as one of the first directories to help people navigate the emerging selection of websites.

But Yahoo’s fortunes began to fade during the past decade, as younger rivals such as Google and Facebook attracted more consumers and advertisers. Marissa Mayer, one of Google’s first engineers, joined Yahoo as CEO in 2012 in hopes of reviving its fortunes. But the effort has failed to deliver the hoped for payoff and a growing group of investors, led by activist firm Starboard, pressured the company to sell itself.

With the Verizon acquisition, Yahoo will be led by another former Googler: Tim Armstrong. Armstrong was the CEO of AOL, which Verizon acquired in 2015 and he is expected to lead a newly combined internet group at Verizon consisting of Yahoo and AOL that brings together online ad technology and other valuable assets.

Whether Armstrong will be more successful than the parade of executives who have tried to rekindle Yahoo’s magic only to fail spectacularly remains to be seen.

Yahoo and Verizon did not immediately return requests for comment.

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