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Verizon is selling AOL and Yahoo: should you be worried?

Verizon is selling AOL and Yahoo: should you be worried?
(Image credit: Verizon)

Verizon has announced that it's selling its media group to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $5 billion. The media group includes AOL and Yahoo - properties that Verizon paid a combined $9 billion for in the past. So what does that mean for you if you're a Verizon Wireless customer? Don't worry is the simple answer. Read on and we'll explain all about the sale and what it means for you.

Verizon originally paid $4.4 billion for AOL back in 2015 before picking up Yahoo for $4.5 billion in 2017. The purchase meant it owned properties like Yahoo Sports, Tech Crunch, Tumblr, and Engadget with the division consolidated under the name - Oath - before being renamed to the much more logical Verizon Media Group in 2018. The idea being that Verizon would take on the likes of Google and other major companies online so that the firm could be more than just one of the best internet providers out there.

Since then, Verizon has looked like it's changed its mind a little on its purchases thanks to things falling significantly short of expectation. That's led to Verizon selling Tumblr for an undisclosed sum in 2019 and also selling off Huffpost to Buzzfeed last year. It's all a series of swaps and changes that you're unlikely to have noticed particularly during your own web browsing and don't worry - this new sale should be very similar. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company after its sale to investment firm, Apollo Global Management, and the company will be named simply Yahoo.

The deal is expected to conclude in the second half of 2021 with senior partner and co-head of private equity at Apollo, David Sambur, explaining to Engadget that the firm believes "the growth prospects of Yahoo and the macro tailwinds driving growth in digital media, advertising technology and consumer internet platforms."

As it stands, Verizon offers some of the widest cell coverage in America and is generally regarded as one of the best cell phone providers out there. The sale of the media side of things won't change that in the slightest. 

That's because businesses like this separate their divisions substantially so all that you'll really notice is that some websites previously owned by Verizon (such as AOL and Yahoo) may eventually look a little different if the new owners choose to relaunch them. In terms of your service, everything will remain the same. Think of this as more of businesses rumbling and swapping and changing rather than anything you’ll notice significantly.