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Verizon: Its early, but we might look at’ buying Yahoo - The Washington Post

(Jin Lee/Bloomberg)

Verizon is walking a fine line amid rumors that it might bid for some of Yahoo's key properties. At an industry conference in New York on Monday, Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo said it was too early to say whether Verizon would buy, but that "if Yahoo is right," it could be interested.

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo says it's "way too premature" to talk about acquiring Yahoo's Internet business $VZ #ubsgmcc2015

Malathi Nayak (@MalathiNayak) December 7, 2015

*VERIZON CFO SAYS 'IF YAHOO IS RIGHT, WE MIGHT LOOK AT IT' matt miller (@mattmiller1973) December 7, 2015

Yahoo is said to be weighing a sale of some of its core Internet businesses, such as search, media and advertising, amid weaker-than-expectedgrowth under chief executive Marissa Mayer. Although Yahoo has been struggling to turn itself around for several years, the fact that its sites draw a tremendous numberof visitors every month makes it an attractive target for would-be kingpins of Internet content. Shammo's comments Monday were the first official hint of interest froma major company that,analysts say, could be among Yahoo's potential buyers.

If Verizon gets more serious about buying Yahoo, the resulting deal could turn the telecomgiantinto a network/media hybridsimilar to Comcast-NBCUniversal, which controls not only aportalto entertainment but also much of the actual entertainment itself. Verizon has made tentative steps in this direction already by buying AOL this year a company that owns the Huffington Post and major tech sites such as Techcrunch and Engadget. UsingAOL's substantial advertising technology, Verizon might even be able to supercharge the revenue generated by all those Yahoo visitors in a way that Yahoo perhaps doesn't.

Verizon and other telecom companies operate high-techcommunications networks, but as more Americans stream musicand consume high-definition video on their mobile devices, it's becoming clear that the most valuable thing is what's traveling over those Internet pipes. So network providers have increasingly eyed content firms as a way to boost their competitiveness.

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