Verizon Communications, reporting that it has quit its media business, is close to making a deal to sell Yahoo and AOL to private equity firm Apollo Global Management, two people with knowledge of the matter said Sunday.
The transaction would be the latest turning point in the history of two of the Internet’s first pioneers. Yahoo was once the Internet’s first page, listing the breakneck pace of new websites that sprang up in the late 1990s. AOL was once the service most people used to connect online.
But both were eventually supplanted by more nimble start-ups, like Google and Facebook, though Yahoo and AOL still publish heavily trafficked websites like Yahoo Sports and TechCrunch.
The deal, which could be announced in the next few days, would value brands between $ 4 billion and $ 5 billion – about half of what Verizon initially paid for the two – and would also include Verizon’s ad technology business, reported Edmund Lee and Lauren Hirsch in The New York Times. People, who requested anonymity because the talks are confidential, warned that the talks could still collapse.
It’s unclear what Apollo plans to do with the business, but it still generates a lot of revenue. The media division reported first quarter revenue of $ 1.9 billion, a 10% gain from a year ago.
The S&P 500 is on the verge of an optimistic opening when trading begins on Monday, and European indices are higher, amid positive economic news in Europe and lingering inflation concerns.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2% and the Dax in Germany gained 0.3%. In Asia, the indices ended the day lower.
In the US, S&P 500 futures were 0.3% higher to start the new month. The benchmark index closed April with a gain of 5.2%, the biggest monthly gain since November.
Oil prices fell, as did 10-year Treasury bill yields. Markets were closed in London for a public holiday, and trading overall was moderate, with some countries marking the May 1 public holiday.
Investors may have inflation on their minds after investor Warren E. Buffett on Saturday spoke of the “bubbling” economy at the annual meeting of shareholders of the company he heads, Berkshire Hathaway.
Mr Buffett said the company has seen the cost of building materials rise. “We are seeing substantial inflation,” Mr. Buffet said.
Indeed, commodity shortages in several sectors, including construction, are causing price hikes, Alan Rappeport and Thomas Kaplan report in The New York Times. The tensions are the result of growing demand that is hampered by supply chain disruptions and Trump-era tariffs.
Although the Federal Reserve has described the price increases as temporary and unlikely to get out of hand, pressure on the Biden administration to intervene could increase as it seeks a $ 2 trillion infrastructure investment program. dollars, a price that could increase depending on the cost of building the roads. , bridges and charging stations for electric vehicles are increasing.
European manufacturers are healthier
European manufacturing companies are reporting “huge increases in production and new orders,” according to the index report by IHS Markit’s purchasing manager for April.
The seasonally adjusted index hit 62.9 points, the highest since survey data became available in 1997, IHS Markit said Monday.
The news came after data on Friday which showed the eurozone economy fell into recession in the first three months of the year. But economists, pointing to rising vaccination rates and the easing of government restrictions, believe the rest of the year should show robust growth.
To come up
Verizon is reportedly set to close a deal to sell Yahoo and AOL to private equity firm Apollo Global Management, marking the end of the phone giant’s entry into the media world.
A lawsuit will begin Monday in federal court in California between Epic Games, the company behind the popular game Fortnite, and Apple. Epic has taken Apple to court, claiming it has too much control over developers through its App Store.
On Friday, employment data for April will be released by the Ministry of Labor. Hiring surges are expected as the US economy continues to recover from the year-long pandemic.
Apple and Epic Games, the creators of the hugely popular Fortnite game, are set to go head-to-head on Monday in a trial that could decide how much control Apple can have over the app economy. The trial is set to open with testimony from Tim Sweeney, the head of Epic, explaining why he thinks Apple is a monopoly abusing its power.
The trial, which is expected to last around three weeks, has major implications, Jack Nicas and Erin Griffith report in The New York Times. If Epic wins, it will turn the economy of the $ 100 billion app market upside down and create a way for millions of businesses and developers to avoid sending up to 30% of their app sales to Apple. .
An epic victory would also reinvigorate the antitrust fight against Apple. Federal and state regulators are reviewing Apple’s control over the App Store, and on Friday the European Union accused Apple of violating antitrust laws over its app rules and fees. Apple faces two more federal lawsuits over its App Store charges – one from the developers and one from the iPhone owners – seeking class action status.
Beating Apple would also bode well for Epic’s upcoming lawsuit against Google over the same issues on the App Store for Android devices. This case is expected to be tried this year and would be decided by the same federal judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California.
If Apple wins, however, it will strengthen its grip on mobile apps and quell its growing chorus of criticism, further strengthening the power of a company that is already the world’s most valuable and has surpassed $ 200 billion in sales. in the past six months.
As the post-pandemic economic recovery accelerates, prices for products as diverse as toilet paper, diapers and wood floors are rising – and the increases may soon be felt in consumers’ wallets.
Procter & Gamble increases the prices of items like Pampers and Tampax in September. Kimberly-Clark said in March that she would raise prices for Scott toilet paper, Huggies and Pull-Ups in June, a move that is “necessary to help offset significant inflation in raw material costs.”
And General Mills, which makes grain brands including Cheerios, faces rising supply chain and freight costs “in this high demand environment,” the company’s chief financial officer recently said. , Kofi Bruce.
These price increases reflect what some economists are calling a major shift in the way businesses have responded to demand during the pandemic, Gillian Friedman reports in The New York Times.
Before the virus hit, retailers often absorbed costs when suppliers raised product prices, as fierce competition forced retailers to keep prices stable. The pandemic has changed that.
The people who profit from the use of offices by American companies are trying to bring American companies back to the office.
They’ve refined their selling points to play on air filtration systems, flexible rental terms and temporary spaces and brokers are back in their own workplaces in force. They recognize that some things have changed as they seek to prove to their clients, and to themselves, that the office will soon return to something close to what it used to be, Rebecca R. Ruiz reported in The New York Times.
With New York City set to fully reopen in July, and many companies plan to bring in workers this summer and fall, commercial real estate players are hoping the revival they’ve been trying to hasten can finally happen. .
“We opened our offices as soon as we were cleared to cross the country,” said David Lipson, vice president of Savills, a global brokerage firm. “If you work in office real estate, should you be too comfortable working from home?”
The industry, emerging from a boom of continued growth, has seen commissions plummet as vacancy rates soared to their highest level in decades. Typically optimistic real estate executives are faced with existential questions.
With 1.3 billion square feet of office space available in major U.S. markets – and more now in the Manhattan market than there is in all of Nashville, Orlando or San Antonio, according to the firm CoStar studies – tensions in optimistic projections are visible.