A friend who works in ad-tech tells me that Verizon's datasets from its Yahoo/AOL assets are "the creepiest" in the industry, but even with every dirty trick and every stupid, harebrained scheme, the companies formerly known as Oath (because everything Verizon did made their users swear uncontrollably) are basically worthless.
Verizon's $4.6 billion markdown slices the book-value of services like AOL and Tumblr in half. There will be more blood before this is over.
The episode offered a silver lining for investors. Rather than attempt a megadeal like AT&T Inc.'s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc., Verizon only spent about $9.5 billion in the past three years buying fading web giants. Though the bet hasn't paid off, it at least stumbled on a smaller scale.
The revision of the Oath division's accounting leaves its goodwill balance — a measure of the intangible value of an acquisition — at about $200 million, Verizon said in a filing Tuesday. The unit still has about $5 billion of assets remaining.
Oath was the vision of former Verizon executive Tim Armstrong, who had pursued a turnaround at AOL before the telecommunications giant acquired the business. But Armstrong stepped down from his position as CEO of Oath in October, shortly after Hans Vestberg became chief executive officer of Verizon.
Verizon Admits Defeat With $4.6 Billion AOL-Yahoo Writedown [Scott Moritz/Bloomberg]
(via Beyond the Beyond)