Verizon Inc. to cut 2,000 jobs as it finalizes Yahoo acquisition deal


Yahoo Inc. shareholders on Thursday approved the company’s pending sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc. for $4.48 billion, according to preliminary results from a shareholder meeting.

Yahoo expects that the deal will close on June 13, 2017.

The company also said it extended a tender offer to buy back up to $3 billion shares to June 16 from June 13.

The closing of the deal, announced in July, had been delayed as the companies assessed the fallout from two data breaches that Yahoo disclosed last year.

In a related development, Verizon Communications Inc. is expected to cut about 2,000 jobs when it completes the acquisition next week, a source said.

The cuts are expected to come from Verizon’s AOL and Yahoo units and represent about 15 percent of the staff at the two units. About 14,000 people work at AOL and Yahoo.

Many of the jobs are in California and some are outside the United States, according to the source, who asked not to be identified because the matter is not yet public.

The No. 1 U.S. wireless operator is combining Yahoo’s search, email and messenger assets as well as advertising technology tools with its AOL unit, which it bought in 2015 for $4.4 billion. Verizon expects mobile video and advertising to be new sources of revenue outside the oversaturated wireless market.

Verizon shares are down 15 percent this year.

The acquisition marks the end of the line for Yahoo as a standalone company, a storied Web pioneer once valued at more than $100 billion.

After the Verizon deal, Yahoo will be renamed Altaba, a holding company whose primary assets will be its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and a 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan Corp.

Verizon is rebranding AOL and Yahoo as part of a new venture called Oath, led by AOL Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong.

Verizon is betting it can use data from more than 200 million unique monthly visitors to Yahoo sites and combine it with data on 150 million unique monthly AOL users and its own user base of over 100 million wireless subscribers to offer more targeted services for advertisers.

The Yahoo deal came after activist investors led by Starboard Value LP lost faith in Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, who was hired in 2012, and forced the sale of the company’s core assets. Mayer is not expected to remain at Yahoo after the sale is completed.

Yahoo is still one of the largest properties on the internet, with hundreds of millions of customers using its email, finance and sports offerings, and a heavily trafficked home page. In February 2016, Yahoo announced it was cutting 1,600 employees, or 15 percent of its staff.

The deal’s closing was delayed as the companies assessed the fallout from two Yahoo data breaches.

Yahoo disclosed in December that data from more than 1 billion user accounts was compromised in August 2013, making it the largest breach in history. This followed a separate disclosure that at least 500 million accounts were affected in a 2014 breach.

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