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Verizon loses bet on digital ads, takes $4.6B accounting hit

December 12, 2018 / MAE ANDERSON

Verizon's big bet on digital advertising isn't panning out. The wireless company spent more than $4 billion to buy AOL and nearly $5 billion to buy Yahoo as part of an effort to compete with Facebook and Google in a growing market for digital advertising. Now, Verizon is slicing the value of those two businesses in half, taking a $4.6 billion accounting write-down in the fourth quarter. The company blamed weak revenue and earnings from the two businesses, known jointly as Oath, and said the benefits from integrating Yahoo and AOL were less than expected.