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Verizon to Buy Internet Pioneer Yahoo


The Verizon studio booth at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications has agreed to buy Internet trailblazer Yahoo for $4.8 billion.

Yahoo was under pressure from shareholders who were critical of the company's financial performance over the past eight years.

The transaction will likely end the four-year reign of Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive, although her exact role after the sale was unclear.

She told Yahoo employees in an email, "I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It's important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter."

Mayer will get a severance package valued at $55 million, according to documents filed with regulators.

Yahoo has under-performed even as advertisers have increased spending in what is now a $160 billion digital advertising market, according to the research firm eMarketer. The Internet pioneer's services draw about one billion visitors each month.

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo should strengthen its America Online Internet business, which it bought last year for $4.4 billion. Once the transaction is complete, Verizon will have access to Yahoo's advertising technology and other assets, such as search tools, mail, and messenger applications.

The sale does not include Yahoo's cash, its shares in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, worth $41 billion, Yahoo Japan or a small portfolio of patents.

Yahoo's market value was more than $37 billion when the markets opened Monday.