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The Wall Street Journal: Verizon may sell its media assets, including Yahoo and AOL

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Verizon Communications Inc.
VZ,
+0.20%

 is exploring a sale of assets including Yahoo and AOL, as the telecommunications giant looks to exit an expensive and unsuccessful bet on digital media.

The sales process, which includes private-equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc.
APO,
+0.44%
,
 could lead to a deal worth $4 billion to $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter—assuming there is one. Other details couldn’t be learned.

Verizon splashed out billions of dollars assembling a portfolio of once-dominant websites, including AOL in 2015, and Yahoo in 2017, paying more than $9 billion in total to acquire the pair.

Verizon, the country’s largest wireless carrier in terms of subscribers, bought the websites intending to resurrect brands that had lost traffic since their heyday but still counted a base of hundreds of millions of account holders.

The digital-media business ultimately failed to reach its target of $10 billion in annual revenue by 2020, and Verizon in 2018 wrote down about $4.5 billion of its value. Verizon has cut jobs in the unit, and in November agreed to sell its HuffPost news division to BuzzFeed Inc. That followed a 2019 agreement to sell the Tumblr blogging platform for a nominal sum to the owner of WordPress.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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