Yahoo’s Acquisitions

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Yahoo recently announced a bid to buy blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion.  Yahoo hopes to revitalize its brand and attract a younger generation of users with this acquisition.  The company has faced criticism in the past for making big acquisitions that didn’t generate returns.

Under CEO Marissa Mayer’s management, Yahoo has purchased a number of small startups in recent months, trying to get an edge in mobile, bringing new talent on board, and improving existing services.  Following are some notable acquisitions:


Yahoo bought Geocities in 1999 for $4 billion.  Geocities hosted personal homepages for consumers free of charge and was once ranked one of the most trafficked websites.  In 2009, Yahoo shut the site down.

Right before the .com bubble burst, Yahoo acquired for more than $5 billion in 1999. was an Internet radio company.  According to industry experts, even though this deal was a success for Mark Cuban, (Broadcast’s founder) it never delivered a return on investment to Yahoo.


In 2005, Yahoo acquired Flickr.  Mayer is currently investing in the Flickr video and photo sharing services so they can compete with products like Facebook’s Instagram.  According to industry experts, Facebook and Twitter now dominate the social media space, because Yahoo didn’t gives Flickr the attention it needed early on.

Alibaba Group

In 2005, Yahoo purchased a 40 percent stake in Alibaba Group.  Alibaba Group was China’s largest e-commerce company.  This $1 billion deal is considered to be one of Yahoo’s most lucrative investments.

Yahoo currently owns 24 percent of the privately held company.  Industry experts expect that the company will be making an initial public offering by the end of the year.  Some analysts expect the company’s valuation to be as high as the $100 billion offered for Facebook.

Right Media

In 2007, Yahoo acquired Right Media.  This was an online ad exchange board.  Last year, analysts speculated that Yahoo was trying to sell off the platform for approximately $850 million.  However, the company has confirmed that the platform is not for sale.

Summly, Jybe, OnTheAir

Yahoo bought the mobile news aggregator Summly in March.  Summly’s app allows smartphone users to sort news by topics in quick bites.  Although terms of the deal were never disclosed, it was reported that Yahoo paid approximately $30 million.  Yahoo’s new mobile app offers news summaries using Summly’s technology.

This year, Yahoo also acquired OnTheAir and Jybe.  OnTheAir is an online video platform that was founded by former Google and Apple employees.  Jybe is a mobile recommendation startup that was founded by former Yahoo employees.


Earlier this year, Yahoo’s plans to buy a 75 percent stake in this online video sharing site fell through after the French government declined the offer because it wanted the company to remain wholly French-owned.


Yahoo bought Tumbler for $1.1 billion in cash.  The Internet search company bought the Web’s most popular platform of user generated content in an effort to establish itself in the social media space.


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