Yahoo! From Web pioneer to an unsung sale

Written by: S Raghotham
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Web pioneer Yahoo! has finally decided to sell itself off, in a deal that's not exactly shaking up the technology world, showing how little the company counts for today.

American telecom giant Verizon is picking up Yahoo's core assets for a paltry $4.83 billion to expand its digital advertising and media business.

[Verizon set to buy Yahoo's internet business for $4.8 bn]

Marissa Mayer

Verizon adds Yahoo to its list of acquisitions that includes the other Internet pioneer AOL, The Huffington Post, technology sites Engadget and TechCrunch, etc.

Back in the mid-90s, if you wanted to search for anything at all on the World Wide Web, you probably would have headed straight to the all-encompassing directory that was Yahoo! Even Shammi Kapoor did. At its peak, the company was valued at a whopping $125 billion.

Yahoo, like so many giants of the Internet era, was founded by two students David Filo and Jerry Yang who were studying electrical engineering at Stanford University in 1994, originally as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web".

When it became Yahoo! in 1995, it actually stood for "Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle" or, even more flippantly, "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle", reflecting the spirit of the times.

Then, Google happened in 1998 -- founded by two other Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin -- and Yahoo never quite recovered as Google redefined the way the world sought information online and, with it, took away Yahoo's advertising revenue.

Over the years, Google grew from strength to strength, offering what's now the world's most popular email service as well as the world's most widely used mobile operating system, Android. And Yahoo sank, struggling to find a mission it could serve in a mobile and Google-dominated world. Even former Google executive Marissa Mayer, currently Yahoo CEO, could not turn around its fortunes, despite a series of acquisitions of popular apps and services.

Still In early 2008, then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made an unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo for $ 44.6 billion, but Yahoo founder and then CEO Jerry Yang rejected the bid saying it "substantially undervalued" the company. The deal announced on Monday valued the company at even lower than its 2015 revenues of $4.96 billion.

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