Selling Yahoo and AOL, Verizon turns focus to its 5G network.
Verizon Communications, signaling that it has given up on its media business, is near a deal to sell Yahoo and AOL to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.
The transaction would be the latest turn in the history of two of the internets earliest pioneers. Yahoo used to be the front page of the internet, cataloging the furious pace of new websites that sprang up in the late 1990s. AOL was once the service that most people used to get online.
But both were ultimately supplanted by nimbler start-ups, like Google and Facebook, though Yahoo and AOL still publish highly trafficked websites like Yahoo Sports and TechCrunch.
The deal, which could be announced in the coming days, would value the brands at $4 billion to $5 billion about half of what Verizon originally paid for the two and include Verizons advertising technology business as well, Edmund Lee and Lauren Hirsch reported in The New York Times. The people, who requested anonymity because the talks are confidential, cautioned that the talks could still fall apart.
It is unclear what Apollo plans to do with the business, but it still generates plenty of revenue. The media division recorded $1.9 billion in sales in the first quarter, a 10 percent gain over last year.
Stocks rise as economic gains are weighed against inflation fears.
The S&P 500 is poised for an upbeat opening when trading starts on Monday, and European indexes are higher, amid positive economic news in Europe and continuing inflation worries.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was 0.2 percent higher, and the Dax in Germany gained 0.3 percent. In Asia, indexes ended the day lower.
In the United States, the S&P 500 futures were 0.3 percent higher to start the new month. The benchmark index closed out April with a 5.2 percent gain, the largest monthly gain since November.
Oil prices slipped lower, as did yields for Treasury 10-year notes. Markets were closed in London for a bank holiday, and trading overall was subdued as some countries marked the May Day holiday.
Investors may have inflation on their minds after the investor Warren E. Buffett spoke about the red hot economy on Saturday at the annual shareholders meeting of the company he runs, Berkshire Hathaway.
Mr. Buffett said the company had seen the cost of construction materials rising. Were seeing substantial inflation, Mr. Buffet said.
Indeed, commodity shortages in several industries, including construction, are causing price increases, Alan Rappeport and Thomas Kaplan report in The New York Times. The stresses are the result of rising demand running up against supply chain disruptions and Trump-era tariffs.
Although the Federal Reserve has described the price increases as temporary and unlikely to spiral out of control, pressure on the Biden administration to intervene could grow as it seeks a $2 trillion infrastructure investment package, a price tag that could rise as the cost of building roads, bridges and electric vehicle charging stations increase.
European manufacturers get healthier
European manufacturing companies are signaling considerable increases in output and new orders, according to the IHS Markit purchasing managers index report for April.
The seasonally adjusted index hit 62.9 points, the highest ever since the survey data become available in 1997, IHS Markit said Monday.
The news came after data on Friday that showed the eurozone economy fell into a recession in the first three months of the year. But economists, pointing to rising vaccination rates and loosening government restrictions, believe the rest of the year should show robust growth.
Verizon is said to be nearing a deal to sell Yahoo and AOL to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, marking an end of the phone giants entry into the media world.
A trial will begin Monday in federal court in California pitting Epic Games, the company behind the popular Fortnite game, and Apple. Epic has sued Apple, saying it holds far too much control over developers through its App Store.
On Friday, jobs data for the month of April will be released by the Labor Department. A strong jump in hiring is expected as the United States economy continues to revive after the yearlong pandemic.