Verizon Communications, signaling that it has given up its media business, said Monday that it has agreed to sell Yahoo and AOL to private investment company Apollo Global Management for $ 5 billion.
The sale also includes Verizon’s advertising technology business, and the company will retain a 10 percent stake in the business, Verizon said in a statement announcing the deal on Monday.
The deal is the latest twist in the history of two of the earliest pioneers on the Internet. Yahoo was the previous page of the Internet, cataloging the frantic pace of new websites that emerged in the late 1990s. AOL used to be the service that most people used to access the Internet.
But both were eventually replaced by nimble startups such as Google and Facebook, although Yahoo and AOL still publish heavily trafficked websites such as Yahoo Sports and TechCrunch.
The sale signals the unraveling of a strategy that Verizon announced in 2015, when it acquired the faded internet giant AOL for $ 4.4 billion. The purchase was intended to give Verizon a path to mobile devices in order to use AOL’s advertising technology to sell ads against digital content. Verizon doubled that strategy in 2017 with the acquisition of Yahoo for $ 4.48 billion, which it combined with AOL under the Oath umbrella.
However, Google and Facebook have proven to be great competitors in the digital advertising market. Verizon acknowledged their power in 2018 when it recorded the value of Oath at $ 4.6 billion, explaining the move in part by “increased competitive and market pressures” that led to “lower-than-expected revenue and profits.”
Still, the media business generates a lot of revenue. In the first quarter, it recorded sales of $ 1.9 billion, an increase of 10% over last year.
The S&P 500 is ready to open open when trading starts on Monday and European indices are higher, amid positive economic news in Europe and continuing concerns about inflation.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was 0.2% higher and Dax in Germany won 0.3%. In Asia, the indices ended the day lower.
In the US, S&P 500 futures were 0.3 percent higher for the beginning of the new month. The benchmark index ended in April with 5.2% growth, the largest monthly growth since November.
Oil prices fell lower, as did yields on 10-year banknotes. Markets were closed in London for a banking holiday, and overall trade had slowed as some countries celebrated May Day.
Investors may be referring to inflation after investor Warren E. Buffett spoke about the “red hot” economy on Saturday at the annual shareholders’ meeting of his company, Berkshire Hathaway.
Mr Buffett said the company had seen the price of building materials rise. “We are seeing significant inflation,” Mr Buffett said.
In fact, shortages in several industries, including construction, are causing prices to rise, Alan Rapeport and Thomas Kaplan told The New York Times. Stress is the result of growing demand, disruptions in the supply chain and tariffs from the Trump era.
Although the Federal Reserve has described the price increase as temporary and unlikely to spiral out of control, pressure on the Biden administration to intervene may increase as it seeks a $ 2 trillion infrastructure investment package, a price that could be increase with the cost of construction of roads, bridges and charging stations for electric vehicles are increasing.
European producers are getting healthier
European manufacturing companies are signaling a “significant increase in production and new orders”, according to the IHS Markit’s purchasing management index report for April.
The seasonally adjusted index reached 62.9 points, the highest since the survey data was available in 1997, IHS Markit said on Monday.
The news came after data on Friday showed that the eurozone economy had fallen into recession in the first three months of the year. But economists, citing rising vaccination levels and loosening government restrictions, believe the rest of the year should show strong growth.
The trial will begin Monday in federal court in California, where Epic Games, the company behind the popular game Fortnite, and Apple will fight. Epic has filed a lawsuit against Apple, saying it has too much control over developers through its App Store.
On Friday, the data on jobs for April will be published by the Ministry of Labor. A sharp jump in hiring is expected as the United States economy continues to recover after a one-year pandemic.
Apple and Epic Games, maker of the hugely popular Fortnite game, will begin Monday in a process that may decide the extent to which Apple can drive the app economy. The trial should begin with a testimony from Tim Sweeney, head of Epic, about why he believes Apple is a monopoly abusing its power.
The process, which is expected to last about three weeks, has major consequences, according to Jack Nikas and Erin Griffith in The New York Times. If Epic wins, it will boost the $ 100 billion app market economy and pave the way for millions of companies and developers to avoid shipping up to 30 percent of Apple’s app sales.
The epic victory will also intensify the antitrust fight against Apple. Federal and state regulators are checking Apple’s control over the App Store, and on Friday the European Union accused Apple of violating antitrust laws regarding application rules and fees. Apple is facing two other federal App Store fee lawsuits – one of the developers and one of the iPhone owners seeking class action lawsuits.
A victory over Apple would also herald Epic’s upcoming lawsuit against Google over the same issues in the Android app store. The case is expected to go to trial this year and will be decided by the same federal judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rodgers of the Northern District of California.
However, if Apple wins, it will strengthen its power over mobile applications and stifle the growing chorus of critics, further enabling a company that is already the world’s most valuable and has reached $ 200 billion in sales in the last six months alone. .
As the economic recovery recovers after the pandemic, prices rise for goods ranging from toilet paper, diapers and wooden flooring – and the increases may soon be felt in consumers’ wallets.
Procter & Gamble raises prices for items such as Pampers and Tampax in September. Kimberly-Clark said in March that she would raise the prices of Scott, Huggies and Pull-Ups toilet paper in June, which is “necessary to offset significant commodity inflation.”
And General Mills, which makes cereal brands, including Cheerios, is facing increased supply and freight costs “in this environment of higher demand,” said Kofi Bruce, the company’s chief financial officer.
These price increases reflect what some economists call a major change in the way companies have responded to demand during the pandemic, Gillian Friedman told The New York Times.
Before the virus appears, traders often bear the costs when suppliers raise the prices of goods because increased competition forces traders to keep prices stable. The pandemic changed that.
People who profit from using offices in corporate America are trying to get corporate America back in the office.
They have refined their sales to replicate air filtration systems, flexible rental conditions and swing space, and brokers are returning to their own jobs in effect. They admit that some things have changed, while trying to prove to their clients and to themselves that the office will soon return to something close to what it was, reports Rebecca R. Ruiz in The New York Times.
As New York is due to reopen fully in July and many companies are expected to call in workers in the summer and fall, those in commercial real estate are hoping that the rebirth they have tried to speed up may finally be possible. happened.
“We opened our offices as soon as we were allowed across the country,” said David Lipson, vice president of Savills, a global brokerage firm. “If you’re in the office real estate business, should you be comfortable feeling too comfortable working from home?”
The industry, booming with a boom in continuous growth, is seeing a drop in commissions as job vacancies have climbed to their highest levels in decades. Real estate managers who are specific to their prospects face existential questions.
With 1.3 billion square feet of office space available in the best U.S. markets – and more now in the Manhattan market than in all of Nashville, Orlando or San Antonio, according to research firm CoStar – strains are seen in pink forecasts.
For years, perhaps the biggest question Warren E. Buffett has faced is who is about to replace him as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate he has built into a colossus of $ 631 billion for more. for 50 years.
The answer finally came: Gregory Abel, a 59-year-old lieutenant who runs Berkshire’s non-insurance operations.
“The directors are unanimous that if something happens to me tonight, Greg will take over tomorrow morning,” Mr Buffett, 90, told CNBC on Monday.
The reception confirms what many suspected. Mr. Abel’s star began to rise in 2008 when he was appointed CEO of the so-called MidAmerican Energy, an energy business that Berkshire bought eight years ago. Mr. Abel helped lead a series of acquisitions that turned the division – after the renaming of Berkshire Hathaway Energy – into one of America’s largest utility companies.
Mr. Abel was appointed Vice President of Berkshire in 2018, along with Ajit Jain, the longtime head of Mr. Buffett’s huge insurance operations. Analysts and investors have widely interpreted the move as a signal that they are both candidates to succeed Mr Buffett as CEO one day.
Charles T. Munger, Mr Buffett’s longtime business partner, hinted at Berkshire’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Saturday that Mr Abel could be Berkshire’s next boss. Asked if the company could become too complex to run, Mr Munger said: “Greg will preserve the culture” – a task that Mr Buffett has long emphasized will be important for the future leader of Berkshire.