The Strategy Behind Verizon’s Buying Spree

The company is moving to profit as ad spending shifts to online and mobile.

Verizon head of new businesses, Marni Walden, pictured here with Jennifer Lopez at a company event, was a driving force in the Yahoo deal.

Photographer: Getty Images

The No. 2 telecom carrier in the U.S. has spent more than $10 billion on digital acquisitions since 2015, as it searches for growth now that everyone in the U.S. who wants a cell phone has one.

What? Verizon Communications is buying Yahoo!’s web businesses for $4.8 billion in a deal Chief Finance Officer Fran Shammo called “a small acquisition for a company our size.”

Why? Verizon signed up 615,000 monthly mobile subscribers in the second quarter, down more than 40 percent from a year ago.

How? The company is positioning itself to profit from the accelerating shift in advertising spending from TV to online and mobile.

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