Verizon close to acquiring Yahoo - reports

A man drives a Mini Cooper with a Yahoo! logo in front of Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, California © Kimberly White
America’s telecommunications company Verizon is in "one-on-one" talks with Yahoo after beating rival bidders for crippled internet giant, Bloomberg reported citing sources.

According to the sources, the companies may be ready to announce a deal in the coming days. However, it hasn’t been finalized and may still fall apart.

If it goes ahead, Verizon could probably merge Yahoo’s internet business with its own web search engine AOL.

Among the bidders interested in the company’s core business were Japanese online retailer Rakuten, Yellow Pages owner YP (backed by AT&T), Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, Vector Capital Management, private equity suitor TPG, and others.

Analysts expect the final bid in the range of $3.5 billion to $6 billion, to include Yahoo’s land and patents.

This week Yahoo reported its quarterly earnings, again missing Wall Street estimates. Revenue (minus commissions paid to partners for web traffic) fell 19 percent in the second quarter to $1.31 billion. It is the sixth decline in the past seven periods.

In what could be the company’s last quarterly release, CEO Marissa Mayer said on Monday its board had made “great progress on strategic alternatives.”

“With the lowest cost structure and headcount in a decade, we continue to make solid progress against our 2016 plan,” said Mayer. “In addition to our efforts to improve the operating business, our board has made great progress on strategic alternatives. We are relentlessly focused on delivering shareholder value.”

Yahoo also acknowledged that Tumblr, which was the company’s biggest acquisition under Mayer, was now worth only one-third of the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for it in 2013.

Yahoo has been struggling in the face of stiff competition, formally launched the process of auctioning off its search and advertising business in February. It also said it would fire 15 percent of the workforce.