Yahoo 'close to $5bn Verizon sale'
Verizon, the US telecoms giant, is days away from reaching a $5bn (3.8bn) deal to buy the once-mighty internet portal Yahoo. US reports claimed that the icon of the web’s early days was close to finishing negotiations with Verizon after a drawn-out sale process.

The deal could see Marissa Mayer, the former Google executive who has failed to turn Yahoo around during her four years in charge of the company, leave the business. Verizon, which last year bought AOL – another icon of the 1990s internet – is likely to merge the two.

Ms Mayer has been under pressure to separate Yahoo from its 15 per cent stake in Alibaba, which has become increasingly valuable even as Yahoo’s core internet business has stalled. A series of acquisitions, such as the social network Tumblr, have also failed to pay off.

The company originally planned to spin off the Alibaba stake but was unable to do so without a huge tax bill, leading Ms Mayer to U-turn and put Yahoo’s internet business – comprising its email, news and advertising services – up for sale.

The remaining company, which would continue to be owned by shareholders, would include Yahoo’s 15pc stake in Alibaba as well as 36pc of Yahoo Japan and a portfolio of patents.

It is believed that other bidders may still be considered, with AT&T and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway both reported to have been interested. Verizon is a clear frontrunner, however.

The combination of AOL and Yahoo would create a new online media entity that Verizon will hope is able to compete with Facebook and Google, which have come to dominate online advertising.
Comment: Obviously this is early days yet. Since Sky now uses Yahoo! to run it's email service, this could have implications for us at a later date.