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SoftBank Just Bought The Yahoo Trademark for $1.6 Billion

Yahoo? What is this, 2005? Apparently, Yahoo is still a big name in some parts of the world, big enough to justify a $1.6 billion acquisition for giant SoftBank.

SoftBank just bought the trademark rights related to Yahoo and Yahoo Japan for $1.6 billion, acquiring the perpetual right to use existing licensed technology in Japan.

Confused by too many Yahoos? You’re not alone.

First of all, Yahoo is apparently the biggest news portal in Japan but multiple entities hold that name and some subsidiaries, hence the confusing details in the press release announcing the SoftBank acquisition of the trademark.

“Although the Yahoo Japan License Agreement will be terminated, Yahoo Japan and Verizon Media will retain their cooperative business and technology relationship. Yahoo Japan will continue to deliver more convenient and innovative services under the “Yahoo! JAPAN” brand, based on its mission statement: “UPDATE JAPAN.””

That’s one confusing paragraphs containing one too many Yahoos but the gist is this: Verizon owned the Yahoo brand.

They then sold it to Z Holdings, a division of Japan’s SoftBank Group, which owned and operated Yahoo Japan, the country’s most trafficked news website.

Until now, Yahoo Japan paid Verizon Media, a company formed by a merger of AOL and the old Yahoo you knew and loved, regular royalties to use the name “Yahoo”.

Now, SoftBank sent Verizon Media a hefty upfront sum to get rid of those royalties and actually own the Yahoo name.


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SoftBank Just Bought The Yahoo Trademark for $1.6 Billion
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