Yahoo was a game changer in the online world. It was the front door to the web in the 90s, founded in 1994 by Stanford University students David Filo and Jerry Yang. Yahoo was created as a type of directory for the internet. Its initial public offering in 1996 was the largest for a tech startup at the time. Yahoo was once as big in its time as Facebook or Google are today.
But later Google started dominating search & online ad market. Today Yahoo handles just 7.7 percent of global online searches compared with 70 percent for Google and 11 percent for Microsoft's Bing. For online advertising, Yahoo is only 1.5 percent of the worldwide digital advertising market this year. However, it gets 204 million regular visitors in the United States, which ranks it as the third-largest digital media property in the US.
Yahoo is for sale since February and it got multiple bids from almost 40 different types of buyers. Finally Telecom giant Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.8 billion. Verizon has earlier bought AOL for USD 4.4 billion last year.
Verizon acquisition is of core Yahoo, which includes search, email, advertising products, and the media business (including Yahoo Finance). In addition to getting the fifth-most visited web site in the US, Verizon gets assets like Tumblr, Flickr, Polyvore and digital ad tools Flurry and BrightRoll.
Nothing is expected to change in the short term for the Yahoo users. Yahoo is the second most-popular email service behind Google's Gmail. It makes sense for Verizon to keep that brand affinity intact. The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and other sites part of AOL kept their separate identities even after AOL was bought by Verizon. So Yahoo may become a sub-brand just like AOL & Verizon may allow the brand name to continue. Whatever may, it is end of an era!
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