Daily Mail eyes up Yahoo

The Daily Mail and General Trust, the owner of the Daily Mail, is considering a bid for ailing search engine Yahoo.

The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), the owner of the Daily Mail, is considering a bid for ailing search engine Yahoo. Yahoo has been left behind by the current dotcom boom. Its revenue is falling: advertisers are pumping money into online advertising, but most of it is going to Facebook and Google. The firm is valued at $35bn, but $29bn of that is due to the value of its shareholding in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce site.

Now, following a failed attempt to break up its business, it has put itself up for sale. It's an odd sales process, says Matt Levine on Bloomberg Yahoo is taking a "choose-your-own-adventure" approach, inviting bidders to pitch for any part of its business. Its complex cross-holdings in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan have turned the company into a puzzle, which it hopes bidders including Time and dating app Tinder will solve.

Yet Yahoo still has its attractions. Its online business is vast. In February it was the third most visited website in America, with 204 million users, just 1% behind Facebook. Its patent portfolio could fetch $3bn to $4bn, says The New York Post. Yahoo also owns blogging site Tumblr and photo-sharing site Flickr. And it could be a good fit for the Mail, at the right price.

Both Yahoo and the MailOnline have "shared obsessions" with scandal and celebrity gossip, says Jasper Jackson in The Guardian. With £700m of debt and a pension deficit, DGMT lacks the firepower for a hefty deal, but a deal over Yahoo's media business could "turbocharge" the Mail's ambitions to grow in America.

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