Is Yahoo less attractive to Verizon, AT&T in light of proposed regulations?

New federal “open internet” rules just upheld by a court ruling could make Yahoo less attractive to bidders Verizon and AT&T, analysts say.

“If things continue on the current trajectory, we’re looking at a world where Verizon or AT&T’s hands could be tied with respect to how they use data that is the heart of the Yahoo strategy,” analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson told Reuters.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld “net neutrality” rules prohibiting internet providers from blocking or slowing consumers’ web content flow.

But it’s another area of regulation within the rules that analysts believe could weaken Yahoo’s appeal to leading bidders Verizon and AT&T. Provisions covering data privacy “would limit an internet provider’s ability to collect user data and share it with advertisers and other third parties,” according to Reuters.

And that’s a problem for internet providers Verizon and AT&T, which “are primarily interested in Yahoo’s advertising technology tools that leverage user data to deliver targeted ads,” Reuters said.

A company such as Google “would be free to use the data a lot more liberally,” Moffett said.

The new rules would require Verizon, AT&T and other internet providers to obtain users’ opt-in consent before their data could be used. “Either’s ability to monetize Yahoo’s content through targeted advertising may now be impaired,” Moffett said in a note to clients Wednesday.

Major cable and phone companies plan to appeal the D.C. court ruling to the full appellate court or Supreme Court and ask Congress to intervene, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Citi analyst Mark May upped his rating of Yahoo stock from “neutral” to “buy,” raising his price target to $43 from $38, according to Barron’s.



Photo: Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)


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  • jdlech

    And that’s why I use ad blockers.

  • les

    Marissa & Company have turned the Yahoo Finance home page into AOL HELL with lead on stories, pop up ads and PAID advertisements and infomercials. Who wants to buy that? It certainly isn’t attracting many repeat eyeballs..

  • R Scott Carlson

    Well imagine that! Having to ask permission to spy on your customers and then sell what you learn to professional harassers! What is this world coming to? Good luck with that appeal you arse-clowns. All you’re gonna get is a smack upside your thick heads.

  • JTMullins

    Do these “experts” have any idea that AT&T has yahoo already providing web hosting and email services for it? This ruling will not magically transport all that somewhere else.