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Verizon out to be more than 'dumb pipe' with Yahoo buy

 AFP |  2016-09-14 22:10:08.0  |  San Fransisco, USA

Verizon is focusing on synergies, not job cuts, with its multi-billion-dollar buy of faded internet star Yahoo, executives have said at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference here. AOL chief Tim Armstrong yesterday said that while there were likely to be "job changes" at Yahoo if the USD 4.8 billion acquisition closes as expected early next year, the deal was about combining strengths in "a bold strategy for the future." 

Armstrong did not lay out details, saying the strategy was still taking shape with input from Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer and her team. While Verizon executive vice president and president of innovation and new business Marni Walden took part in the on-stage talk with Armstrong, regular Disrupt guest Mayer was noticeably absent.

Verizon bought AOL last year in a deal valued at USD 4.4 billion, and the Yahoo acquisition is another move in building an online media platform on top of the US telecommunication firm's network. "We do not want to be a dumb pipe," Walden said, playing off a question by the moderator at TechCrunch, which is owned by AOL.

"We also want to be a platform and a services company; our lead in mobile lets us take advantage of that."  Verizon on Monday ramped up its internet-of-things platform with the acquisition of Silicon Valley-based Sensity Systems, which specializes in LED light systems that connect online.

Financial details were not disclosed. Armstrong said the Yahoo acquisition is on track, with "enthusiasm on both sides internally." 

Yahoo went with Verizon after a process involving 51 possible bidders, according to a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Verizon commands about 35 per cent of the US wireless market, according to data at industry tracker Statistica.com.

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