Verizon is selling Internet pioneers AOL and Yahoo to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $5 billion, but will retain a 10% stake in the two media companies that will now work together under the Yahoo umbrella, the companies announced Monday.
Verizon and Apollo said Monday that the sale will go through in the third or fourth quarter of 2021. This isn’t the first time Verizon is selling one of its media companies—Verizon sold HuffPost to BuzzFeed in 2020, and sold Tumblr to WordPress in 2019. Verizon first bought AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion, and acquired Yahoo in 2017 for $4.5 billion. Yahoo’s current CEO, Guru Gowrappan, will continue to run the AOL and Yahoo media properties.
Verizon entered the media business when it acquired AOL and Yahoo—the two former Internet giants who were once a major driving force behind early web activity. AOL brought people online and connected them to email, while Yahoo offered easy navigation to all the emerging content on the web.
Verizon announced in April Yahoo Answers would permanently shut down on May 4. Yahoo Answers, the once-popular Q&A site, has operated since 2005. The company said the change was due to the site becoming “less popular over the years” and resources would shift to “products that better serve” members.