Verizon said to close in on Yahoo deal

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Verizon is close to purchasing Yahoo’s core assets, according to several reports, in a deal that would expand its advertising business and could bring it into conflict with a proposed federal privacy rule.

Bloomberg News reported on Friday that the telecom giant has become the leading bidder for the company, and is discussing a $5 billion purchase price for its main internet businesses. Recode and others have since confirmed the report.

The purchase could hand Verizon assets like Flickr and Tumblr, as well as technology used to deliver targeted ads.

Verizon hopes to become a player in the hotly contested advertising space, purchasing AOL in 2015 and more recently forming a partnership with Hearst to build out video-heavy content outlets. Its moves could put it in direct competition with Google and Facebook, which dominate the mobile ad business.

Its ambitions have put it on a collision course with the Federal Communications Commission, which is currently considering a proposed rule that would require broadband providers like Verizon to get customer consent before using their data for most purposes.

Verizon has lobbied the FCC on t the item, as has the wireless industry’s trade group in Washington.

“Wireless carriers have the potential to generate significant advertising revenues due to their ability to precisely target ads to wireless subscribers,” wrote research firm Moody’s earlier this year. “But, if the FCC restricts the carriers’ ability to collect this data, the advertising revenue opportunity will be reduced.”


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