You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AT&T Bids for Yahoo, Countering Verizon Offer (Report)

The two biggest U.S. telecom providers look to be facing off in a fight to own Yahoo.

AT&T has submitted an offer to acquire Yahoo’s Internet business, after initially staying on the sidelines, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.

Verizon has been widely considered by Wall Street as the leading candidate to acquire Yahoo. Verizon execs have expressed interest in combining Yahoo’s huge online audience with AOL, which it acquired last year for $4.4 billion. “We can’t talk about Yahoo… but that’s a possibility to gain greater scale,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said Tuesday, speaking at JP Morgan’s Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

However, Verizon did not submit the highest offer in the first round of bidding, which included offers ranging between $4 billion and $8 billion, according to the Bloomberg report.

AT&T’s play for Yahoo is likely fueled in part by a desire to keep the online company out of the hands of its chief rival. Yahoo also could serve as an anchor for AT&T’s ambitions to build up a bigger push into digital-media and streaming video: The telco is planning to launch three new DirecTV over-the-top video services in the U.S. later this year. In addition, it’s trying to reach millennial video viewers through Otter Media, a joint venture with Chernin Group whose holdings include Fullscreen.

Reps for Yahoo, AT&T and Verizon have declined to comment.

Yahoo remains an attractive prize, given its large global audience of around 1 billion monthly users. But the company’s finances have continued to deteriorate, with Yahoo forecasting declines in revenue and earnings for 2016 as its search and display advertising businesses shrink.

Other bidders reported to be vying for Yahoo include private-equity firm TPG and a consortium that includes Bain Capital, Vista Equity Partners and former Yahoo interim CEO Ross Levinsohn. Last week, Warren Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway would be a potential financing partner for a bid by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert.

Digital marketing firm YP — in which AT&T owns a 47% equity stake — had been looking at a deal with Yahoo but has since abandoned that, according to Bloomberg’s report. YP was formed in 2012 by the combination of AT&T Interactive and AT&T Advertising Solutions.

Separately, earlier this month AT&T ended its 15-year pact with Yahoo to operate the telco’s web and mobile portal sites and branded apps, inking a deal instead with Synacor. Yahoo continues to host email for AT&T customers.

Yahoo officially announced that it would explore a sale of the company in February, bowing to pressure from investors, and also said it would cut 15% of its workforce as part of refocusing on key product and content areas while shutting down others.

Popular on Variety

More Digital


    Netflix's Podcast Slate 'Deepens' Space Around Original Content, Programmers Say

    It should come as no surprise that, in its quest to become a full-blown entertainment ecosystem, Netflix has built a roster of podcast programming to complement its scores or original series and films. The programs recruit top talent and hosts to hang out and talk about the streaming giant’s TV and film content. It’s a [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content