AOL and Yahoo are being sold again, this time to a private equity firm.
Wireless company Verizon will sell Verizon Media, which consists of the once-pioneering tech platforms, to Apollo Global Management in a $5 billion deal.
Verizon said Monday that it will keep a 10% stake in the new company, which will be called Yahoo.
Yahoo at the end of the last century was the face of the internet, preceding the behemoth tech platforms to follow such as Google and Facebook. And AOL was the portal, bringing almost everyone who logged on during the internet's earliest days.
Verizon spent about $9 billion buying AOL and Yahoo over two years starting in 2015, hoping to jump-start a digital media business that would compete with Google and Facebook. It didn't work -- AOL and Yahoo were fading even then -- as Google and Facebook and, increasingly, Amazon dominate the U.S. digital ad market.
Verizon has been shedding media assets as it refocuses on wireless, spending billions on licensing the airwaves needed for the next generation of faster mobile service, called 5G.
Despite its difficulty competing with tech giants for ad dollars, leading to cost cuts and layoffs, Verizon Media's revenue rose 10% in the most recent quarter from the year before, to $1.9 billion. The division still has nearly 900 million monthly users, and generated $7 billion in revenue in 2020, according to Verizon and Apollo.
Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and the minority stake.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.