Apr 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Reports: Verizon in talks to sell media assets including Yahoo and AOL

A pedestrian talks on his cell phone while walking past the Verizon Communications Inc. headquarters in New York on Tuesday, July 26, 2005.
Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Verizon is considering selling its media assets division, which includes Yahoo and AOL, the Wall Street Journal first reported on Wednesday.

Driving the news: The company is in talks with Apollo Global Management about a deal with worth up to $5 billion, according to the WSJ and Bloomberg.

Between the lines: Verizon acquired Yahoo for $4.48 billion in 2017 and AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015. The deals were meant to give Verizon a trove of data that would enable the company to sell targeted advertising against its entire portfolio of brands, Axios' Sara Fischer notes.

  • Media giants are now shifting away from depending solely on digital advertising and instead diversifying their revenue streams with subscriptions, commerce and events.

Of note: Verizon took a $4.6 billion write-down for its media unit in late 2018.

  • The company has since begun finding some success in subscriptions, as well as advertising revenues recovering from early in the pandemic. But it's nowhere close to delivering the return on investment that it put into buying the two properties, Fischer notes.
  • Verizon and Apollo did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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