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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday May 01, @02:04PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the buy-high-and-sell-low dept.

Verizon tries to sell Yahoo and AOL after spending $9 billion on fallen giants:

Verizon is reportedly ready to give up on Yahoo and AOL after spending a combined $9 billion on the once-dominant Internet brands that fell from prominence years before Verizon bought them.

"Verizon is exploring a sale of assets including Yahoo and AOL, as the telecommunications giant looks to exit an expensive and unsuccessful bet on digital media," The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The sale process involves private-equity firm Apollo Global Management and "could lead to a deal worth $4 billion to $5 billion," the Journal wrote, citing "people familiar with the matter."

We asked Verizon if it has a response to the WSJ report today, and a spokesperson told us the company has "nothing to add."


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @02:33PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @02:33PM (#1145115)
    Hmmm, I still use yahoo email for some stuff... Might be a hassle to switch. Some online games don't let you change your emails without a support ticket.

    Heard Yahoo is popular in Japan, but it's a different entity...
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Saturday May 01, @05:10PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 01, @05:10PM (#1145156)

      Confusingly Amazon has two Alexas, one for talking to and one for web traffic demographics and stuff.

      Anyway I pulled their reports and both sites are dominated by webmail portal access. LOT of people still using them for webmail. Or bots using them or something.

      I wonder if someone with access to a large list of active email addrs could confirm or deny that their list has a lot of something at yahoo or something at aol email addresses.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @05:54PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @05:54PM (#1145165)

      I had Verizon for an ISP a while back. When Verizon bought AOL, they moved all their email handling over to AOL (even though the domain was still verizon.net). This enabled me to keep using the email account long after I was no longer a Verizon customer. It mostly lets me keep tabs on what the common spam is these days, but I do still use it occasionally.

      I wonder if I'll still be able to use it after Verizon sells (or just throws away) AOL. Eh, I have my own domain for email these days, so it hardly matters, but I'm curious as to how they'll untangle themselves.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Sunday May 02, @03:30AM (2 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Sunday May 02, @03:30AM (#1145287)

        Same here- I've had a few verizon.net email addresses and they continue to work. I'm hoping they will in the future. I'm hoping anyone who might buy AOL / Yahoo! will see value in the existing customer base.

        BTW, it's actually Yahoo! (AFAIK) serving email.

        Also, email handling / administration was WAY better under Verizon proper.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @10:02AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @10:02AM (#1145342)

          Same here- I've had a few verizon.net email addresses and they continue to work. I'm hoping they will in the future. I'm hoping anyone who might buy AOL / Yahoo! will see value in the existing customer base.

          Yes, if they do what they did with the lycos email, they'll close it as a free service, you'll get an email of the form 'nice long-standing email address you have there...it would be a pity for it to disappear, but luckily, for a small amount, we'll let you keep it...'
          And then, the previously spam-free account fills with fucking spam..which bypass their filters.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Sunday May 02, @11:20AM

            by RS3 (6367) on Sunday May 02, @11:20AM (#1145352)

            I hope not, but thank you for the warning. If it's a very reasonable fee it might be tolerable. I don't mind changing email to something else, it's just the pain of sending out "change of email address" to everyone I know. And I feel badly for them- I've been through email address changes before and some people continued to remember and use my discontinued email addresses. Maybe I need to do what someone else mentioned: buy my own domain name...

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @03:06PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @03:06PM (#1145128)

    True, if you define billion as thousand.

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday May 01, @05:56PM (5 children)

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday May 01, @05:56PM (#1145166) Homepage Journal

    What ever happened to Compuserve? Did AOL buy them? Just went out of business? I was first online with them, later BBSes.

    As to Yahoo and AOL, what could they have of value, except maybe office furniture and branding? I have a Rocketmail address from Yahoo, had it since the first time I changed ISPs, but how is that any benefit to Yahoo?

    I don't get it. But then, I'm a nerd, not a greedster.

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @06:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @06:13PM (#1145173)

      You just need to reimagine the global synergy.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by istartedi on Saturday May 01, @06:28PM (3 children)

      by istartedi (123) on Saturday May 01, @06:28PM (#1145178) Journal

      The history of Compuserve on Wiki is really quite a read--founded in 1969 as a B2B time-sharing service. The whole thing reads like a rise and fall of 1st generation consumer Internet companies. It's currently part of the Verizon Oath subsidiary, and so is AOL. So if they're selling Oath then it looks like Compuserve comes along for the ride; but if they're actually breaking things back out as independent entities again, then maybe it stays with Verizon. The answer might be in the fine print of the proposed sale.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @06:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @06:56PM (#1145191)

        > The answer might be in the fine print of the proposed sale.

        Always a good sign when the value of the deal is quietly hidden in the small print.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @07:14PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @07:14PM (#1145458)

        I'm curious who is going to actually want to buy those companies. The only reason I can think of is that they need a way of generating a loss when they cook their books. Neither company has provided anything of value in probably 20 years and I doubt they have either the IP or the personnel that would make it worthwhile to own. Pretty much all you get from buying them is the ability to say that you own them and a large crater in your balance sheet.

        Sometimes companies should just be allowed to stop existing.

        • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Sunday May 02, @08:09PM

          by istartedi (123) on Sunday May 02, @08:09PM (#1145467) Journal

          There might be some residual revenue coming in. Aside from old ladies who still have an AOL address, there might also be some crusty old companies using CompuServe for business in its original mainframe capacity. I mean, just look at all the COBOL that's still running. There could definitely be some multi-decade, "it ain't broke, don't fix it" contracts involved. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they had some local banks or hospitals paying them $100k/yr. for service that's now attainable for $1k/yr, but... it was all run through a security audit for y2k, and they don't want to re-do anything.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nuke on Sunday May 02, @12:48PM

    by Nuke (3162) on Sunday May 02, @12:48PM (#1145362)

    I was using Yahoo as a disposable email address for which I would enable forwarding to my "real" email address from time to time for specific purposes. But Yahoo Mail recently stopped that function so I am now using them as no more than an email black hole. Now when I want forwarding I use GMail.

  • (Score: 2) by DutchUncle on Monday May 03, @04:12PM

    by DutchUncle (5370) on Monday May 03, @04:12PM (#1145707)

    Verizon FIOS service explicitly included email service. Until it didn't all of a sudden, and they spun those addresses off to be "serviced" by AOL. That address started as being my paid, supported, legitimate address for real accounts, and at this point is less reliable than free services. Any recommendations for trustworthy email? (besides running my own server)

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