It's been a pretty rough road for Yahoo these past years, culminating in essentially shutting down their moonshot department, losing an important deal with AT&T and finally, deciding to sell off their core web business. After the sale, Yahoo will be left barebones, having only a 15 percent stake in e-commerce giant Alibaba and a 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan left to their name. All of their U.S. operations and assets, including the real estate for their headquarters, will become the property of the highest bidder, though everybody in the running has their own private reasons for bidding. A fairly large crop of entities, from private equity funds to the founder of Quicken Loans, backed by Warren Buffett, are in the running to bid, but only a few have made it into the final run of bidding. Among them are AT&T and Verizon.
The two largest carriers in the U.S. will be competing for Yahoo's top spot for fairly similar reasons, but coming from different scenarios. Verizon, through their purchase of AOL, got their hands on new search and ad tech, as well as a fairly large stable of exclusive media. This led them to be able to launch their new GO90 video content service, among other things. Though their bid was a bit on the low side of the spectrum last time, Yahoo has seen fit to let them into the final round, where they will be vying for a chance to increase their stable of ad tools, as well as expand their media and internet presence to a near-monolithic level.
AT&T, on the other hand, can boast no such platforms and services, and hopes to take Yahoo for their own in order to catch up with Verizon. With Yahoo having hosted their web portal for some time, AT&T knows a thing or two about Yahoo's search and ad tech, as well as their many exclusive services like Yahoo Answers, the long-defunct GeoCities web hosting outfit, and Yahoo Mail, which AT&T could keep intact or gut to form a backbone for their own, more cohesive and, of course, customer-exclusive services. Other bidders are mostly in it for the real estate, or to seize control of Yahoo at a fairly low price to engage it in strategic mergers or sell it off piecemeal to turn a profit. Yahoo is hoping to have the sordid affair over with before August.