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Leaving AOL

Verizon three days ago sold Yahoo and AOL for a measly $5B. 

The “measly” is not sarcastic. Twenty years ago, Yahoo was worth $125B. Verizon bought Yahoo in 2016 for $4.8B. AOL was once worth $200B, but Verizon bought it in 2015 for $4.4B. Which means Verizon lost $4.2B in total in the sale of both companies. 

The private equity firm they sold it to, Apollo, will do whatever it has to in order to make back their money:

Under Apollo, Verizon’s former media properties will be challenged to grow and become profitable in order to attract yet another sale or exit down the road.

If Yahoo and AOL failed under Verizon, there’s little reason to think they’ll succeed under new management that wants to resell them. As of 2017 there are  2.3 million people still using aol.com as their email address, and that number today includes celebrities such as Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Sarah Silverman. Still, an email user base of 2.3M is unlikely to result in the billions of dollars Apollo would have to make off of it. (I am not wise in the ways of billion dollar businesses, though. If only!)

In short, it’s time to think about moving away from AOL.com. You can, of course, have two email addresses at once, and many email providers will  automatically forward your AOL email to your new address. That means that email sent to your AOL.com address will automatically show up in your new email’s inbox. (Here’s how for Gmail.)

Good luck cutting the emotional cord to a pre-Web Internet provider who most of us thought went away twenty years ago.

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One Response to “Leaving AOL”

  1. Thanks for sharing

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