Verizon Tops List Of Potential Buyers For Yahoo’s Internet Business

While you may not have checked your old Yahoo Mail account since before the recession, the Web 1.0 relic continues to exist. And now that Yahoo’s board may be looking to sell off the portion of the business that most people associate with the company, a number of potential buyers are licking their chops at getting some piece of the meal.

The Wall Street Journal reports that among those who may be interested in devouring at least part of Yahoo’s soul are Verizon (which recently acquired the once-giant AOL), Time Inc. (which was once corporate kin to AOL), News Corp, and Barry Diller’s IAC/Interactive.

Verizon didn’t buy AOL for its vestigial dial-up accounts that won’t go away, but for the company’s software that is used to buy ads across the web and to connect user identities across mobile and desktop platforms.

Likewise, an acquisition of Yahoo — which would cost, at most, half of the $4.4 billion Verizon spent on AOL — would be about increasing Big V’s ad reach. Yahoo may no longer be the go-to Internet name it once was, but it does have a huge cache of registration data and e-mail addresses that could be coupled with Verizon’s existing consumer data (from wireless and wireline customers) and the AOL ad tech.

But as the Journal points out, Yahoo’s current ad-selling business is in the sagging market of online banner ads — a form of marketing that has been shown time and again to simply not work. Facebook and Google have both passed Yahoo in importance in the online ad world. In just the last year, Yahoo’s share of the market has dropped from 5.1% to 4.4%.

Other potential buyers for at least some portion of Yahoo’s corpse could include Comcast, the Walt Disney Company, or AT&T.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.