Verizon (NYSE: VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed the carrier is interested in acquiring at least some of Yahoo's Internet assets, signaling his eagerness to move further into digital media.
"We said on this show a month ago in December we would look at it. I think their board is being very responsible in how they're doing this," McAdam said Friday on CNBC's Mad Money. "We have to understand the trends that we're seeing in some of their results now, but then at the right price I think that marrying up some of their assets with AOL under Tim Armstrong's leadership would be a good thing."
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo last month declined to say whether the company is considering a purchase of Yahoo, noting "You can't talk about something that's not up for sale." But Yahoo said last week it is exploring "strategic alternatives," implying yet again it's likely looking for a suitor willing to take on its struggling Internet businesses.
The nation's largest wireless carrier last year spent $4.4 billion to acquire AOL and its media assets including Engadget, The Huffington Post and TechCrunch. It followed up that acquisition with the $250 million buyout of mobile advertising company Millennial Media.
Yahoo has reportedly considered spinning off its core Internet business for months, and those assets could be a particularly good fit for a mobile network operator: Yahoo operates a range of mobile apps and websites that draw 600 million users per month, and it owns the app analytics firm Flurry, which it picked up in 2014 for $240 million.
Other potential candidates to acquire Yahoo include SoftBank, which owns Sprint, and AT&T.
Yahoo also claimed 2.9 percent of U.S. mobile advertising revenues in 2015, according to estimates from eMarketer. An acquisition of Yahoo would give Verizon an opportunity to expand its mobile marketing business in a big way as the industry begins to gain substantial momentum.
"We've only had (Millennial Media) for six months," McAdams said. "I don't want to declare victory, we've got a long way to go, but putting more pieces into it like Millennial Media -- perhaps some things from Yahoo might make sense. I think we can turn that into something special."
- see this CNBC report
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