US internet firm Yahoo is being acquired by American telecoms giant Verizon Communications for nearly $5bn (£3.8bn) in cash.
Yahoo will be combined with AOL, another faded internet star, which Verizon bought last year.
The deal does not include Yahoo’s valuable stake in Chinese firm Alibaba.
The price tag for the deal is well below the $44bn Microsoft offered for Yahoo in 2008 or the $125bn it was worth during the dot.com boom.
Verizon said the deal for Yahoo‘s core internet business, which has more than a billion active users a month, would make it a global mobile media company.
- 1994 Yahoo – which stands for Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle – is founded
- 2000 Yahoo valued at $125bn at height of dot.com boom
- 2002 Google rejects a $3bn bid from Yahoo
- 2008 Microsoft’s $44.6bn offer for Yahoo is turned down
- 2013 Blogging site Tumblr acquired by Yahoo for $1.1bn
- 2015 Yahoo makes net loss of $4.4bn
- 2016 Verizon agrees $4.8bn deal to buy Yahoo
Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, said: “Yahoo is a company that has changed the world, and will continue to do so through this combination with Verizon and AOL.”
In an email to staff, Ms Mayer said she was “planning to stay”, adding: “I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.”
However, the takeover, which is due to be completed in early 2017, raises questions about whether the Yahoo brand could disappear.
“That’s the big open-ended question: what are they going to do with the brands?” said Michael Goodman, a director at Strategy Analytics.