Verizon ready to bid for Yahoo's web business: Bloomberg

Verizon Communications Inc is ready to bid for Yahoo's web business, Bloomberg reported yesterday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

According to the report, Verizon hoped to make a merger more successful by also making an offer for a stake in Yahoo's Japanese subsidiary and planned to make a first-round bid for Yahoo's web business next week.

Alphabet Inc's Google is also in the running for Yahoo's core business, Bloomberg reported, citing a source.

However, according to Bloomberg, many companies that had been seen to be likely investors in Yahoo were not planning a bid, including AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Microsoft Corp.

Shares of Yahoo were down just over 1 per cent to $36.17.

Verizon had let its interest in Yahoo's core business be known in December, when chief financial officer Fran Shammo said the company would "see if there is a strategic fit" for its holdings, which included mail, news, sports and advertising technology.

Yahoo's move to auction its core business came in February after it shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

According to commentators, the offer to acquire Yahoo's 35.5-per cent stake in Yahoo Japan could give Verizon a lead over rival bidders.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is projecting a steep drop in revenue and earnings for 2016, following a quarterly loss of $4.4 billion.

The revelation comes only weeks  after Yahoo announced that it was laying off over 1,500 employees. Yahoo's financials, which are reported to being shared with Yahoo's potential buyers, seem to suggest that a return to growth was nowhere on the horizon.

However, according to commentators, Yahoo's declining fortunes, notwithstanding, Yahoo was still the third-largest digital media company in the US, attracting a whopping 202.5 million unique visitors, far more than Wikipedia, ESPN and the Weather Channel. Only Google and Facebook commanded larger audiences.