Yahoo says it has more than 1 billion users, including 225 million on its email service. The email users are an especially valuable part of Yahoo’s audience because they tend to visit on a regular basis and log in to make it easier to track their interests for advertising purposes.
Verizon won a five-month auction for Yahoo over a list of other bidders that included rival AT&T Inc., a group led by Quicken Loans founders Dan Gilbert and private equity firms that that specialize in buying distressed companies and trying to rehabilitate them.
Yahoo will continue to operate independently until the deal closes, which will likely take place early next year. What happens to Yahoo’s products then? A Yahoo spokesperson did not offer specifics, but did reiterate the following portion of the companies’ press release:
The addition of Yahoo to Verizon and AOL will create one of the largest portfolios of owned and partnered global brands with extensive distribution capabilities. Combined, AOL and Yahoo will have more than 25 brands in its portfolio for continued investment and growth. Yahoo’s key assets include market-leading premium content brands in major categories including finance, news and sports, as well as one of the most popular email services globally with approximately 225 million monthly active users.”
Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Sports are among the company’s most popular offerings. Yahoo Mail ranks in second of all email services, behind Google’s Gmail. Yahoo Sports places fourth among sports news outlets when it comes to U.S. unique visitors. Yahoo Finance also took the top spot among financial news outlets, and the Yahoo-ABC News network ranked first among other news and information sites.
All said, it’s unlikely that Verizon would kill off Yahoo’s most popular offerings. For Verizon, Yahoo’s content and products are part of the reason it’s buying the company in the first place (advertising and sales is the other big draw). In a statement, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong pointed to news and sports as key Yahoo strengths. “Yahoo has been a long-time investor in premium content and created some of the most beloved consumer brands in key categories like sports, news, and finance,” said Armstrong, who is leading Verizon’s efforts to integrate AOL and Yahoo into the broader company. Verizon bought AOL last June for $4.4 billion.