ZDNet: Facebook is the AOL of 2021. “The 1990s had a word for being trapped inside a manipulative notion of human contact: AOL. Facebook and its ilk are the rebirth of that limited vision.”
Axios: Verizon sells Yahoo and AOL to private equity firm for $5 billion. “Verizon on Monday announced that it will sell its digital media unit, including Yahoo and AOL, to private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Details: Apollo will pay $5 billion for a 90% stake in the business, with Verizon retaining a 10% stake.”
OneZero: Meet the People Who Still Have AOL Email Addresses. “…despite the rise of broadband and free email, both AOL and EarthLink have somehow managed to survive. It’s difficult to get up-to-date figures, since the two entities are now subsidiaries and barely register as a blip on their parent companies’ balance sheets. Neither company would disclose its current number of monthly subscribers, but as of 2014, more than 2.1 million people still used AOL dial-up.” Obviously I do not use dial-up, but I still have a Mindspring account I’ve had since ~1998. That email address is in some of my books and such and I’m reluctant to get rid of it. I should at some point.
CNET: Verizon takes $4.6 billion write-down on Oath . “Verizon said Tuesday the integration of Yahoo and AOL has achieved lower-than-expected benefits. As a result, Verizon expects to record a goodwill impairment charge of about $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter, the company said in a statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.” As the article notes, Yahoo’s original purchase price was $4.83 billion.
And in our “Man-do-I-feel-old,” department, from CNET: AOL’s AIM sets its away message… permanently. “AOL Instant Messenger, a popular form of communication in the early days of the internet, goes dark on Dec. 15, AOL, now a unit of Verizon’s Oath, said on Friday. AIM was once one of the dominant instant-messaging platforms on the internet, helped by the massive number of dialup subscribers using AOL internet service. After launching in 1997, it enjoyed its peak in the late ’90s and early 2000s.”
The Verge: Verizon admits to throttling video in apparent violation of net neutrality . “Yesterday, we reported that Verizon Wireless appeared to be throttling Netflix traffic, — and today, the company seems to have come clean. In a statement provided to Ars Technica and The Verge, Verizon implicitly admitted to capping the traffic, blaming the issue on a temporary video optimization test.” Remember, Verizon owns Yahoo now. And it owns AOL.
I suppose someone has to. From Techspot: The Internet Archive is collecting AOL free trial CDs. “One era’s trash is another era’s treasure. That’s perhaps the best way I can think to describe the Internet Archive’s latest collection. The non-profit digital library is in the process of collecting something that was next to impossible to avoid in the 1990s – the venerable AOL CD-ROM.”
Recode: As the merger is completed, layoffs of up to 1,000 jobs at the combined AOL and Yahoo are expected. “According to sources, layoffs are expected to take place across AOL and Yahoo that could number up to 1,000 jobs. That is less than 20 percent of the combined company, according to sources. This action is not unexpected, given that both companies have a lot of redundancies, including in human resources, finance, marketing and general administration.”
Recode: Marissa Mayer will not be part of the new AOL-Yahoo combined company called Oath. “According to sources, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will not be continuing with the new company that was announced today prematurely in a tweet by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. The new Verizon-owned entity is called Oath — we’ll get to mocking that name later in the post — and is the combination of AOL and Yahoo. It will be headed by Armstrong, who is now apparently Oath-in-Chief.” Doubt she cares because she made serious bank. Meantime, are they calling it Oath because of all the swearing?
AOL’s search is now completely Bing-powered. “According to a new blog post aimed at advertisers, the entirety of AOL’s search needs are now being fulfilled by Bing, with Microsoft’s search engine covering web, mobile, tablet as well as paid and algorithmic queries.”
More Bing: it will start powering the search at AOL. “The 10-year deal with AOL is the latest to validate the exceptional quality of our search results and marketplace. No longer just a destination search engine, Bing is becoming an integral part of many popular third party devices and services, and Microsoft experiences including Windows, Cortana and Office.”