Verizon looks to offload Tumblr - Mobile World Live

Verizon looks to offload Tumblr

03 MAY 2019

Verizon is reportedly exploring a sale of its blogging website Tumblr, as part of a wider strategy to revive its ailing media business.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing people familiar with the matter, reported the US operator is seeking a buyer for the unit and a sales process is ongoing, while noting that a transaction may not materialise.

Verizon took control of Tumblr through its acquisition of Yahoo’s media units in 2017, but the website has struggled to generate revenue and traction, being eclipsed by rivalling social media including Facebook and Instagram.

WSJ said it was unclear how much Verizon would get for Tumblr if a sale did go through.

Yahoo bought the website, which runs as a free service and hosts around 400 million blogs, for $1.1 billion in 2013, but wrote down its value by $230 million in 2016.

The news about a potential sale of Tumblr comes in the same week that Verizon outlined plans to use 5G network technology to revive its digital media unit, as it unveiled new AR and extended reality content projects.

Indeed, the media business is in need of a boost, proving to be sore point for the US operator in recent times. In December 2018, Verizon cut the unit’s value from $4.8 billion to just $200 million, and in January laid off nearly 800 employees from the division.

The media unit includes websites and online services acquired from Yahoo as well as AOL in 2015.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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