As of today, Verizon is officially the owner of Yahoo. Yahoo’s assets are now being mashed up with those of AOL, which Verizon bought in 2015, into a horribly named new division called Oath. Oath will contain sites like HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, TechCrunch, and Engadget, as well as apps and services like Alto and Brightroll. Tumblr will also fall under the Oath umbrella.
With the deal complete, it’s also being announced that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is departing the combined company. Mayer was an incredible hire by Yahoo when it brought her on as CEO five years ago. She came to the company after spending more than a decade at Google spearheading key products like search and Maps.
The deal is all about advertising
Yahoo was obviously a challenge to turn around. And while Mayer didn’t exactly save the company, its share price more than tripled during her tenure. (Although, much of that value may have come from an early Yahoo investment in Alibaba; Verizon isn’t acquiring that investment as part of this deal.)
The Yahoo acquisition has taken a long time to close. Verizon initially made an offer last July, for $4.83 billion in cash. But the deal hit a number of speed bumps after it was revealed that Yahoo had been subject to multiple major data breaches. Verizon decided to stick with Yahoo anyway, ultimately just shaving $350 million off the purchase price.
Like its AOL deal, the Yahoo deal is about turning Verizon into an advertising juggernaut. Not only is it acquiring ad technology from Yahoo, but it’s acquiring another suite of highly visited sites. Combine that with the information Verizon is already able to mine from AOL visitors and its own internet service customers, and the company is able to get an increasingly big picture of what people spend their time doing online. That’ll help it better target ads, especially as companies like Google and Apple begin to cut down on what advertisers are able to get away with online.