Who! would! want! Yahoo!? How! about! Verizon!?

CFO says telecom giant could swoop in if the price is right


With Yahoo! continuing to mull a possible sell-off of its core search business, Verizon has emerged as a possible buyer.

Speaking at a conference in New York, Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo suggested his company might be interested in taking over some of the beleaguered Purple Palace's assets in the event Yahoo! decides to split itself up.

Prefacing his response that it was "way too premature" to talk about a buyup, Shammo left the door open for a possible purchase of some or all of Yahoo!'s core assets.

"It is just like with AOL, we look at everything across the spectrum and if we see there is a strategic fit and it makes sense for our shareholders and we can return value, we will look at it," the Verizon CFO and executive vice president said [registration required].

Verizon snapped up one of Yahoo!'s fellow internet old-timers, purchasing the AOL brand earlier this year for $4.4bn in an effort to boost Verizon's presence in the video and media spaces.

Similarly, a purchase of the core Yahoo! brands would help Verizon extend its reach into the web services and digital media markets.

This amidst growing speculation that Yahoo! is weighing whether to shed some of its core business ahead of its looming spinoff of the Alibaba stake. Such a plan was floated in November by an activist investor group and was among the options being considered last week by Yahoo!'s board of directors.

It's no secret that things have not gone according to plan at Yahoo! under CEO Marissa Mayer. According to the last financial results from the Purple Palace, returns continue to fall short of expectations, and speculation has grown that Mayer's job is now in danger.

Don't feel too bad for Mayer, however. It has been reported that should the former Google exec be ousted from the CEO role at Yahoo!, a severance package worth as much as $158m would be paid out. ®

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