Verizon seeking sale of media assets & AOL in $5 billion deal

Posted:
in General Discussion
Telecom giant Verizon is reportedly exploring the sale of assets including parts of Yahoo, and AOL, plus news sites Techcrunch and Engadget in a deal worth up to $5 billion.

AOL was bought by Verizon in 2015
AOL was bought by Verizon in 2015


Six years after it bought AOL, and five after it took over Yahoo, Verizon is looking to sell off both. The company spend over $9 billion to buy the two, and is now said to be shopping them around for around half that.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon is looking to abandon its own digital media efforts.

Across Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Mail, and the company's news sites, the division had been expected to achieve $10 billion revenue by 2020. Instead, despite a growth in the second half of the year, the company finished 2020 with $7 billion.

Verizon is said to now be focusing less on its own digital assets, and more on partnership deals. It is offering bundles of Hulu and Disney+ with its home internet plans, for instance.

The Wall Street Journal says that private equity firm Apollo Global Management is in discussions to buy the assets for between $4 billion and $5 billion. Neither Apollo nor Verizon have confirmed the talks.




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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,634member
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    williamh
  • Reply 2 of 13
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    The brand name itself likely has value just by virtue of it being so recognizable but I have no clue what that price tag would be. They have a U.S. presence. They stopped being an ISP some time ago but were doing some media content creation and publishing. 

    Fun fact. AOL was originally the product of a company called Quantum. Quantum released AOL as a rebranded product that was called AppleLink and was a joint venture with Apple to offer dial up BBS for customers. So at some point AOL started as an Apple product. 
    MacProroundaboutnowCloudTalkinBeats
  • Reply 3 of 13
    rs0212rs0212 Posts: 20member
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    Still has quite a few dial-up customers, mostly from rural areas. 

    I still pay $4.95 a month for CompuServe (an AOL subsidy) to keep my eMail address, and I'm sure there are plenty of others out there who do as well. Put it this way, you have to pay to use the AOL software and they keep it updated and it's actually not bad to have a browser, email, and file download manager in one. The last "true" CompuServe software was version 7.0 released in 2001, and wasn't compatible with any OS after Windows XP. And there's enough of us paying CompuServe users for AOL to have put in effort to rebrand the AOL software for CompuServe users with the name "CompuServe Desktop Gold," the CS logo, CS specific icons, and the blue color scheme in 2019. Now that branding might not seem like a big deal, but for a publicly traded company to put any amount of time into updating software for the first time in 18 years, I would imagine there are a significant amount of us paying users to justify that. And that's just CompuServe, a minute amount of users compared to the greater AOL base. 

    I know basically every other email (including AOL) is free now, but I've had my email address since my dad signed a 3 year contract with CompuServe back when I was in high school in order to get a subsidized computer, and so many people have my @cs.com email address, it would be impossible to give everyone I know a new email address.

    Plus, like I said, there's quite a few people in rural areas who still require dial-up.
    edited April 29 Japhey
  • Reply 4 of 13
    rs0212rs0212 Posts: 20member

    Fun fact. AOL was originally the product of a company called Quantum. Quantum released AOL as a rebranded product that was called AppleLink and was a joint venture with Apple to offer dial up BBS for customers. So at some point AOL started as an Apple product. 
    That's right; I forgot!  Yes, AOL was actually available exclusively on Mac for years. It was only with version 2.5 or 3.0 that they became available for Windows. I believe 5.0 was the last version made for the Mac until "AOL Desktop for Mac" came out in the late 2000s for Leopard and Snow Leopard. That was shortly abandoned, too. 
    MacPro
  • Reply 5 of 13
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 765member
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    The brand name itself likely has value just by virtue of it being so recognizable but I have no clue what that price tag would be. They have a U.S. presence. They stopped being an ISP some time ago but were doing some media content creation and publishing. 

    Fun fact. AOL was originally the product of a company called Quantum. Quantum released AOL as a rebranded product that was called AppleLink and was a joint venture with Apple to offer dial up BBS for customers. So at some point AOL started as an Apple product. 
    I was the AppleLink user. I was working in Japan and they had dial-up there. I think I was accessing FirstClass message boards through it or something like that. 
  • Reply 6 of 13
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 765member
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    Lots of older people still use it, to the point that an aol email address flags you as a senior citizen. 
    Beats
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Partnership in what? Golfing or spa outings? Any random partnerships? Sounds like building random equity in nothing. Good luck.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 431member
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    The brand name itself likely has value just by virtue of it being so recognizable but I have no clue what that price tag would be. They have a U.S. presence. They stopped being an ISP some time ago but were doing some media content creation and publishing. 

    Fun fact. AOL was originally the product of a company called Quantum. Quantum released AOL as a rebranded product that was called AppleLink and was a joint venture with Apple to offer dial up BBS for customers. So at some point AOL started as an Apple product. 
    This is partially correct. The original Applelink was an online service for Apple employees internal communications. It was the first of its kind with a UI to show off the features of the Mac back in the Mac Plus/Mac SE/Mac II days. I was at Apple at the time and used it every day. It used GE's online system as the back end.  GE also marketed a text based service with the same servers as GENie, which was a rival to CompuServe and Prodigy back in the 80s.

    Applelink was also used by some partners and repair facilities, but there had been a push from those non-Apple employees that had seen it to make a version for the general public. But Apple didn't want it on the same system as the one for employees. Instead of going to GE to design something different, they partnered with Quantum, run by Steve Case in Virginia. Quantum had a growing network of text based online chat forums as a competitor to CompuServe and GENie and worked with Apple on a UI version of what Quantum had that was branded Applelink Personal Edition. Apple also took an equity stake in Quantum.

    Sometime after the presentation (early 1990) we got internally on the rollout of Applelink Personal Edition, we began beta testing it as Apple employees who had access. But Apple leadership decided to change their mind on the whole thing and pulled out of the deal right before launch. Steve Case and Quantum literally had a finished product ready to go, so it was rebranded as America OnLine, and as they say, the rest is history.

    One bit of epilogue....Apple watched the success of AOL in the 90s and realized they screwed up so a few years later, Apple came out with a competing service called eWorld (I still have the T-shirt). eWorld went no where and went off to the grave of so many 1990s Apple initiatives.  Apple did end up making money on AOL, selling off their stock in the intervening years for badly needed cash.
    edited April 29 roundaboutnowCloudTalkinapplguy
  • Reply 9 of 13
    Aol was 1.0 on Windows 3.1. Also, Aol 2.5 was the first version with the BookLink browser integrated opening up the WWW for the masses. 
  • Reply 10 of 13
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,634member
    sevenfeet said:
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    The brand name itself likely has value just by virtue of it being so recognizable but I have no clue what that price tag would be. They have a U.S. presence. They stopped being an ISP some time ago but were doing some media content creation and publishing. 

    Fun fact. AOL was originally the product of a company called Quantum. Quantum released AOL as a rebranded product that was called AppleLink and was a joint venture with Apple to offer dial up BBS for customers. So at some point AOL started as an Apple product. 
    This is partially correct. The original Applelink was an online service for Apple employees internal communications. It was the first of its kind with a UI to show off the features of the Mac back in the Mac Plus/Mac SE/Mac II days. I was at Apple at the time and used it every day. It used GE's online system as the back end.  GE also marketed a text based service with the same servers as GENie, which was a rival to CompuServe and Prodigy back in the 80s.

    Applelink was also used by some partners and repair facilities, but there had been a push from those non-Apple employees that had seen it to make a version for the general public. But Apple didn't want it on the same system as the one for employees. Instead of going to GE to design something different, they partnered with Quantum, run by Steve Case in Virginia. Quantum had a growing network of text based online chat forums as a competitor to CompuServe and GENie and worked with Apple on a UI version of what Quantum had that was branded Applelink Personal Edition. Apple also took an equity stake in Quantum.

    Sometime after the presentation (early 1990) we got internally on the rollout of Applelink Personal Edition, we began beta testing it as Apple employees who had access. But Apple leadership decided to change their mind on the whole thing and pulled out of the deal right before launch. Steve Case and Quantum literally had a finished product ready to go, so it was rebranded as America OnLine, and as they say, the rest is history.

    One bit of epilogue....Apple watched the success of AOL in the 90s and realized they screwed up so a few years later, Apple came out with a competing service called eWorld (I still have the T-shirt). eWorld went no where and went off to the grave of so many 1990s Apple initiatives.  Apple did end up making money on AOL, selling off their stock in the intervening years for badly needed cash.
    I thought eWorld evolved into iTools, which became .Mac, then MobileMe and eventually iCloud?

    Obviously success was not uniform across those incarnations, but I was under the impression there was a clear throughline between them as Apple's internet venture (vague and varying as that may be).

    Sorry if I'm misinformed, I didn't jump on the train until .Mac
  • Reply 11 of 13
    sevenfeet said:
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    The brand name itself likely has value just by virtue of it being so recognizable but I have no clue what that price tag would be. They have a U.S. presence. They stopped being an ISP some time ago but were doing some media content creation and publishing. 

    Fun fact. AOL was originally the product of a company called Quantum. Quantum released AOL as a rebranded product that was called AppleLink and was a joint venture with Apple to offer dial up BBS for customers. So at some point AOL started as an Apple product. 
    This is partially correct. The original Applelink was an online service for Apple employees internal communications. It was the first of its kind with a UI to show off the features of the Mac back in the Mac Plus/Mac SE/Mac II days. I was at Apple at the time and used it every day. It used GE's online system as the back end.  GE also marketed a text based service with the same servers as GENie, which was a rival to CompuServe and Prodigy back in the 80s.

    Applelink was also used by some partners and repair facilities, but there had been a push from those non-Apple employees that had seen it to make a version for the general public. But Apple didn't want it on the same system as the one for employees. Instead of going to GE to design something different, they partnered with Quantum, run by Steve Case in Virginia. Quantum had a growing network of text based online chat forums as a competitor to CompuServe and GENie and worked with Apple on a UI version of what Quantum had that was branded Applelink Personal Edition. Apple also took an equity stake in Quantum.

    Sometime after the presentation (early 1990) we got internally on the rollout of Applelink Personal Edition, we began beta testing it as Apple employees who had access. But Apple leadership decided to change their mind on the whole thing and pulled out of the deal right before launch. Steve Case and Quantum literally had a finished product ready to go, so it was rebranded as America OnLine, and as they say, the rest is history.

    One bit of epilogue....Apple watched the success of AOL in the 90s and realized they screwed up so a few years later, Apple came out with a competing service called eWorld (I still have the T-shirt). eWorld went no where and went off to the grave of so many 1990s Apple initiatives.  Apple did end up making money on AOL, selling off their stock in the intervening years for badly needed cash.
    I believe eWorld was basically AOL rebranded. Maybe they were a little more sedated but Apple licensed the AppleLink Personal Edition and worked with AOL to make eWorld. Somewhere in the 90s eWorld was my first ISP. 
  • Reply 12 of 13

    crowley said:
    sevenfeet said:
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    The brand name itself likely has value just by virtue of it being so recognizable but I have no clue what that price tag would be. They have a U.S. presence. They stopped being an ISP some time ago but were doing some media content creation and publishing. 

    Fun fact. AOL was originally the product of a company called Quantum. Quantum released AOL as a rebranded product that was called AppleLink and was a joint venture with Apple to offer dial up BBS for customers. So at some point AOL started as an Apple product. 
    This is partially correct. The original Applelink was an online service for Apple employees internal communications. It was the first of its kind with a UI to show off the features of the Mac back in the Mac Plus/Mac SE/Mac II days. I was at Apple at the time and used it every day. It used GE's online system as the back end.  GE also marketed a text based service with the same servers as GENie, which was a rival to CompuServe and Prodigy back in the 80s.

    Applelink was also used by some partners and repair facilities, but there had been a push from those non-Apple employees that had seen it to make a version for the general public. But Apple didn't want it on the same system as the one for employees. Instead of going to GE to design something different, they partnered with Quantum, run by Steve Case in Virginia. Quantum had a growing network of text based online chat forums as a competitor to CompuServe and GENie and worked with Apple on a UI version of what Quantum had that was branded Applelink Personal Edition. Apple also took an equity stake in Quantum.

    Sometime after the presentation (early 1990) we got internally on the rollout of Applelink Personal Edition, we began beta testing it as Apple employees who had access. But Apple leadership decided to change their mind on the whole thing and pulled out of the deal right before launch. Steve Case and Quantum literally had a finished product ready to go, so it was rebranded as America OnLine, and as they say, the rest is history.

    One bit of epilogue....Apple watched the success of AOL in the 90s and realized they screwed up so a few years later, Apple came out with a competing service called eWorld (I still have the T-shirt). eWorld went no where and went off to the grave of so many 1990s Apple initiatives.  Apple did end up making money on AOL, selling off their stock in the intervening years for badly needed cash.
    I thought eWorld evolved into iTools, which became .Mac, then MobileMe and eventually iCloud?

    Obviously success was not uniform across those incarnations, but I was under the impression there was a clear throughline between them as Apple's internet venture (vague and varying as that may be).

    Sorry if I'm misinformed, I didn't jump on the train until .Mac
    No, eWorld was a full on ISP in the early/mid 90s. It was pretty short lived. iTools was different beast. 
  • Reply 13 of 13
    williamh said:
    crowley said:
    Is AOL even worth anything any more?  Does it still have presence in the US?
    Lots of older people still use it, to the point that an aol email address flags you as a senior citizen. 
    The facts you present are not in dispute.  My best bud uses his aol email address as his main account, but I am slowly migrating him away from it.  It primarily serves as a spam repository.  He currently has 47K email in his inbox and probably more than 125K in total spread over several folders.  Fun fact.  He was severely disappointed when I informed him that Sheila was in fact NOT 1.4 miles away from him and she most likely wasn't looking for a good time.

    Unrelated observation: Although containing only a few comments, this has to be one of the most refreshing and enjoyable threads I've seen on AI in quite some time.  It's not often a thread is filled with informative esoterica.  Kudos to all participants.  May your example spread across AI as a whole.
    applguywilliamhmobird
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