A short-lived experiment (Source: Nicholas Kamm / Getty Images)
Yesterday, Verizon — which acquired AOL in 2015 ($4.4B) and Yahoo in 2017 ($4.5B) — sold the old internet guard to PE firm Apollo Management for a combined $5B.
That’s 40% less than it bought the companies for, reports CNBC.
WTF was Verizon doing?
The $240B telecom giant made the acquisitions in an attempt to compete with — cue laughter — Google and Facebook in digital ads.
The combined effort was unfortunately rebranded as Oath and put under the leadership of Tim Armstrong, AOL’s former head (and a Google veteran).
With tens of millions of subscribers, Verizon believed it could combine customer data with Oath digital properties to hyper-target users.
The gambit never worked…
… and Armstrong left in 2018. The entire venture was renamed Verizon Media Group, and we collectively all forgot about it.
Verizon has been ditching its media efforts in recent years by shuttering or selling HuffPost, Yahoo Answers, and Tumblr.
This is in contrast to its main competitors: AT&T plunked big bucks to acquire WarnerMedia, and Comcast still runs NBCUniversal.
Either way, we can all consider it a minor miracle that AOL and Yahoo are still chugging along.
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