Flickr sold to Verizon

By Andrew Hudson Published: July 25, 2016 Updated: August 4, 2016

The popular photo-sharing site Flickr has been sold by Yahoo to Verizon, America’s largest wireless company.

For $4.83 billion in cash, Verizon gets Yahoo’s core Internet business, which includes Flickr, Tumblr, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Search, and the Yahoo brand. Verizon may combine those assets with its AOL business, which it purchased last year for $4.4 billion.

“Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers. The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising.”
— Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam, July 25, 2016

“Our mission at AOL is to build brands people love, and we will continue to invest in and grow them.”
— AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

From $140 billion to $4 billion

At its peak in January 2000, Yahoo was valued at $140 billion. In eight years, the company lost 72% of its value, as Yahoo rejected a $44 billion offer in 2008 by Microsoft. In the next eight years, the core Yahoo business lost 89% of its value, selling to Verizon for $4.83 billion.

Remainder of Yahoo

The remaining part of Yahoo will be renamed and is worth about $40 billion. Most of this comes from Yahoo’s 15% stake in Alibaba, a Chinese online marketplace company. Yahoo bought a 40% stake in Alibaba for $1 billion in 2005. Half of that was sold back to Alibaba in 2012 for $7.6 billion and the remainder is worth about $31B.

Remainder of Yahoo

$31 billionYahoo’s 15% stake in Alibaba
$8 billionYahoo Japan
$1 billionYahoo’s patents


YAHOO is a backronym for Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle.

Yahoo timeline

  • 1994: Founded by Stanford electrical engineering graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo as Jerry and David’s guide to the World Wide Web.
  • 1998: The most popular starting point for web users.
  • 2000: Valued at $140 billion with an all-time high share price of $118
  • 2005: Buys Flickr
  • 2008: Rejects Microsoft’s offer of $44 billion
  • 2009: Yang replaced as CEO by Carol Bartz
  • 2011: Valued at $22 billion. Tim Morse interim CEO
  • 2012: Three CEOs in one year: Scott Thompson, Ross Levinsohn, Marissa Mayer
  • 2013: Buys Tumblr, a blogging site, for $1 billion
  • 2016: Sells core Internet business to Verizon for $4.4 billion

Flickr timeline

  • 2004: Created as part of a videogame by Ludicorp, a Vancouver-based company founded by now husband-and-wife team Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake.
  • 2005: Bought by Yahoo for about $25 million (along with Ludicorp).
  • 2007: Yahoo Photos merged with Flickr
  • 2008: Butterfield and Fake resign
  • 2011: 6 billion images hosted
  • 2013: 87 million registered members and more than 3.5 million new images uploaded daily, according to The Verge.
  • 2016: Bought by Verizon for $4.83 billion (along with Yahoo’s core Internet business)

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