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Verizon Loses Billions on Yahoo, AOL Sale

Brian Giuffra
May 3, 2021, 8:49 AM EDT
Verizon.
Verizon. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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When a company loses billions of dollars and continues to operate, it makes you wonder if money is even real to these people, ahem, corporations. I mean, if Verizon can just eat a few billion in losses and walk away smiling, what the hell does that mean for the rest of us?

In a deal unsurprising for those who have been following Verizon's not-so-subtle desire to get out of the media game it entered full force just a few years ago, the internet company has reportedly sold the vast majority of its stake in Yahoo and AOL to Apollo Global Management, whatever the hell that company is, according to CNBC.

The price paid by AGM (let's just call them that for fun) was reportedly $5 billion. Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015 and Yahoo for $4.5 billion in 2017. Just doing some basic math here, that's a $3.9 billion loss by Verizon, plus whatever they lost over the six years they were operating this segment of their media wing.

Verizon is getting $4.25 billion "in cash," according to CNBC, and will retain a 10 percent stake in the company. Which begs the question, how do you fit $4.25 billion in a suitcase and how nervous is that courier?

Verizon sold the HuffPost and Buzzfeed last year, which has resulted in massive job cuts at both companies since. It was a clear sign Verizon was ready to get out of the media game and focus on the wireless and internet provider business.

Meanwhile, AOL will apparently cease to exist as it will be rolled up into Yahoo as part of a rebrand. No further word on what AGM will do with these new assets, but history suggests cost-cutting will be a primary element of its strategy, though we're hoping for those people who work there this is not the case.

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