Telco Verizon, which was thinking about buying the troubled search engine outfit Yahoo, is getting cold feet.
The deal was all set to go through and then Yahoo was hit by a couple of security scandals including a suppressed data leak which stripped value from the company.
Marni Walden, president of product innovation and new businesses, who is a senior executive of Verizon said that she could not sit “sit here today and say with confidence one way or another because we still don’t know.”
If it wants to get out of the deal, Verizon likely will have to show the overall value of Yahoo has declined as a result of the two hacking disclosures.
“I have to have certain facts in order to be able to make a decision. There’s a lot of stuff we don’t know.”
If only there was a good search engine where you could look up the information you need on that Internet thingee.
Verizon has announced it is buying most of what people think is Yahoo for $5 billion.
The deal will end months of uncertainty about Yahoo’s future after the company announced plans to review strategic alternatives in February. Bloomberg first reported the deal would be announced on Monday for $4.8 billion which was pretty close.
The transaction would boost Verizon’s AOL internet business, which the company acquired last year for $4.4 billion, by giving it access to Yahoo’s advertising technology tools, as well as other assets such as search, mail, messenger and real estate.
It would also mark the end of Yahoo as an operating company, leaving it only as the owner of a 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, as well as its 15 percent interest in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.
Started in 1994 by Stanford graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo in its early years was the destination of choice for many making their first forays onto the World Wide Web.
By 2008, Yahoo was fending off a contentious takeover bid from Microsoft and struggling to define its mission.
In December, Yahoo scrapped plans to spin off its Alibaba stake after investors fretted over whether that transaction could have been carried out on a tax-free basis. It instead decided to explore a sale of its core assets, spurred on by activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP.
More details are expected to be announced today.
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett is backing a consortium vying for Yahoo internet assets.
While there is no certainty that the consortium succeed, the fact that Buffett is interested is a much needed boost for the troubled Internet company. It is also bad news for the US telecommunications carrier Verizon Communications which is the current favourite. Verizon already owns AOL.
The consortium is in the second round of bidding in the auction for Yahoo’s assets, the people said. Buffett is helping finance the offer, one of the people added.
Reuters reported last month that Yahoo had shortlisted close to 10 bidders in the auction for its assets, with most offers coming from private equity firms.
Last month Buffett admitted that Berkshire had been slow to adapt to new technology as far as its investments were concerned. He is a long term investor in IBM so knows all about lost causes. He said that Yahoo’s business had deteriorated significantly and that “something has to change there.” At the time he did not say he was doing anything about it.
Troubled search outfit Yahoo is exploring the sale of $1 billion to $3 billion of patents, property and other “non-core assets”.
Yahoo chief financial officer Ken Goldman told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that a committee created to explore alternatives to the company’s plan to spin off its core business is looking at quick sales of assets.
Goldman said patents, land, property and “non-core units or businesses” are all on the table for potential sale, and the company has sold or licensed more than $600 million in patents over the last three years.
Yahoo faces increasing pressure from shareholders and investors to sell its core business instead of going through a spinoff that would separate the company from its multibillion-dollar stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group Holding.
Time, Verizon Communications and several other suitors have emerged as potential buyers.
Goldman did not confirm the reports but said the committee is “aligned to see what best creates shareholder value.”
The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn claiming that the US telco Verizon is thinking of buying the very troubled search outfit Yahoo.
Verizon wrote a cheque for the supplier of beer mats during the 90s AOL last year and according to Bloomberg, the wireless telecom giant has tasked AOL CEO Tim Armstrong with figuring out how to buy Yahoo.
Yahoo is currently working out how to spin off its core businesses and keep the original company as a holding entity for the Alibaba shares. The company explained that the tax climate for spinning off Alibaba holdings was simply unfavourable for investors.
CEO Marissa Mayer also noted that the move would give more “transparency” to the operations of Yahoo’s core businesses, and analysts believed that implied Yahoo would be selling itself off bit by bit.
Verizon’s huge user base and mobile video ads would likely bring in quite a lot of revenue if it bought the company. It also needs to get its feet under the table of the online video scene.
While Volkswagen is in deep water worldwide because it tampered with energy efficiency software, the car industry as a whole is leading the way implementing the internet of things (IoT).
ABI Research said that by 2020, there will be $60 billion worth of global telematics and “infotainment” service revenues.
But the surprising thing is that it will be 3G and not 4G networks that will be the primary connection technology.
4G won’t come into its own until after 2020, according to research director Dan Shey.
He said that there will be exceptions to the general rule that vertical markets are slow to implement the latest technology – with the US, Korea and Japan implementing 4G but even then that won’t happen until 2019 or 2019.
By 2020, vendors including Ericsson, Verizon, Wireless Car and Airbiquity will grab the lion’s share of the market.
The car industry will also shift into a cloud based approach to connect everything up.
ABI believes the IoT will be powered by open source hardware reference designs and third party mobile integration, putting pressure on existing vendors like Harman and Bosch to radically shift their design models.
Adoption of 4G data services is eclipsing revenues from mobile voice revenues, which are in decline.
And it won’t be long before the difference between 4G and 3G widens to such an extent that by 2020 the newer standard dominates the market.
A report from ABI Research said that in 2020, 4G data traffic will hit 224.7 exabytes and represent 79 percent of total data consumption.
Realising the revenue opportunities for data, mobile operator are “sparing no effort” to cover customers to 4G networks, said Marina Lu, a research analyst at ABI.
She said they’re doing that by offering attractive tariff plans and quick update services.
“In addition, the richer content services including HD video, lossless music and high speed games are in great demand, boosting data service revenues,” she said.
Last year, China Mobile made the best gross profit, followed by Verizon and AT&T.
Lu said that in its first year of commercialisation of LTE/4G, China Mobile moved from being voice centric to being more data centric.
Verizon moved to plans which encouraged people to shift to data enabled services as part of their package.
Verizon said today it has bought AOL for $4.4 billion.
AOL is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon when the deal closes and that poses questions about the different properties it owns.
Verizon owns media titles including the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget and also has a significant presence in the advertising space.
The CEO of Verizon, Lowell McAdam, said that his company has a vision. That vision, he claimed, was to provide people with a “premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform”. Figure that one out, if you can.
The CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong, also has a vision. He said the visions of Verizon and AOL are shared.
Verizon will pay for AOL using cash and “commercial paper”.
US telcos are using the fact that the US lacked net neutrality as a sales pitch to trick customers to pay more for bandwidth they don’t need.
Streaming video industry analyst Day Rayburn was stunned when multiple Verizon sales reps told him that to get better Netflix performance on his network he would have to increase the bandwidth.
The only problem is that Rayburn had no problems with his video streaming and in any invent even Verizon’s basic 25Mbps fibre service should be plenty for Netflix, which streams in standard quality at 3Mbps and HD at 5Mbps.
Verizon sales reps told one Rayburn that his 50Mbps service won’t provide the smoothest Netflix experience available. For that, he needs to upgrade to 75Mbps.
Rayburn vented his spleen in a bog post with the punchy headline “Verizon Falsely Promising Better Quality Netflix Streaming With Faster, More Expensive Internet Tier,”
Rayburn wrote. “Three different sales reps via the phone and one via an online chat all tried to convince me to upgrade to 75Mbps, with the false promise that it would give me better quality Netflix streaming, amongst other OTT [over-the-top] streaming services. I was told that with 75Mbps I would get ‘smoother video viewing’ and ‘better quality’ with a higher tier service. Of course, this claim by Verizon is 100 percent false and they know it.”
The average Netflix video streams on Verizon’s fibre service at 3.5Mbps, and that’s better than all other major ISPs. When Rayburn pointed that out to Verizon sales reps, they countered that more bandwidth is needed with multiple people in the household.
Ironically Rayburn, who is an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, was one of Verizon’s most prominent defenders during its financial spat with Netflix last year. He blamed Netflix instead of Internet providers for the poor quality of video streams that occurred until Netflix decided to pay for direct connections to the providers’ networks. We wonder now he has seen what Verizon has done using his argument he might have changed his mind a bit
US Telco Verizon, which has spent a fortune lobbying US politicians, must be thoroughly miffed that it has been let down by them.
The Germans have told Verizon to sling its hook and it will not get any more lucrative government contracts in that country because of its close connection to the US government.
Reports based on disclosures by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden alleged Washington had conducted mass surveillance in Germany and had even eavesdropped on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.
Berlin insisted on a “no-spy” deal, but these collapsed after the United States said that since it ruled the world now everyone had to do what they say.
Germany launched an overhaul of its internal communications and secure government networks. Booting out US companies as a security risk seems to have been the result.
Germany’s Interior Ministry said the pressures on networks as well as the risks from highly developed viruses or Trojans are rising.
“Furthermore, the ties revealed between foreign intelligence agencies and firms in the wake of the US National Security Agency (NSA) affair show that the German government needs a very high level of security for its critical networks.”
Verizon has been providing network infrastructure for the German government’s Berlin-Bonn network, used for communication between ministries, since 2010, the statement said. The contract is set to expire in 2015.
Instead Deutsche Telekom would replace services provided by Verizon. Deutsche Telekom is already responsible for the most sensitive communications between ministries or between the government and German intelligence agencies.
Verizon is the second-biggest US telephone company, but the outfit moaned that Verizon Germany was a German company and we comply with German law.
It said that Verizon did not receive any demands from Washington in 2013 for data stored in other countries and the US government cannot compel us to produce our customers’ data stored in data centres outside the country. If it did, Verizon Germany would challenge that attempt in a court.
Earliers this month the Guardian revealed that the FBI and NSA are collecting all call information from Verizon users in the US. It was forcing Verizon to comply using the Patriot Act.