Daily Mail reportedly exploring bid to acquire Yahoo

Yahoo's billboard in San Francisco

Last week, Yahoo extended the deadline for potential bidders to submit their proposals to acquire the Silicon Valley company. Already reports have surfaced companies like Verizon and Google seeking to make a move, but today it seems that the parent company of the U.K.-based Daily Mail is in talks with private equity firms to make its own bid for Yahoo.

Things are getting interesting.

The Wall Street Journal reports that if the Daily Mail actually submits a bid, it could take one of two forms: A private equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business with the Daily Mail taking over the news and media properties; or the private equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business and merge the media and news properties into the Daily Mail’s online operations.

Reports indicate that there have been as many as 40 firms that have expressed an interest in what Yahoo has to offer, but how many are actually serious remains unknown. Time Inc. is perhaps one of the few known publication and media companies to be contemplating a bid, which could strike some similarities with the Daily Mail’s plans.

Yahoo has been spending its time focusing on how to sell its core internet business since December. After some shareholders flip-flopped on whether the company should spin out its Alibaba holdings into a standalone company, the remaining option was to part with Yahoo’s core business. During its Q4 2016 earnings, the firm revealed that it was implementing an “aggressive strategic plan” to simplify itself, hopefully in a move to make it more enticing to potential buyers. As a result 15 percent of its workforce was being let go, making up 9,000 employees and fewer than 1,000 contractors.

According to documents obtained by Re/code, the financial situation at Yahoo isn’t that great. It’s said that revenue at the company is dropping close to 15 percent and earnings by over 20 percent. So while there are people contemplating bids, the real test will be to see which ones don’t balk at the seemingly dire circumstances Yahoo finds itself in and remain adamant that they can use its offerings.

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Netflix is reportedly planning to launch in South Korea in January 2016

Flickr / Matthew Keys

Video-streaming service Netflix is reportedly planning to enter the South Korean market in January 2016, with an official announcement due in the coming weeks, according to a report by The Korea Times on Sunday.

Netflix only just launched in Japan last week, where it partnered with local carrier SoftBank to have its app pre-installed on phones in the country — and it looks like it may be counting on a similar strategy to navigate South Korea.

According to the newspaper, the company is “seeking to form strategic partnerships with Korean mobile carriers and leading terrestrial broadcasters.” The three largest carriers in the country are SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus.

Netflix seems to be locked in a fierce expansion race with rival Amazon, which offers its own video-streaming service, and recently also announced a September launch for Japan — though Amazon’s service is not yet available in South Korea.

The newspaper cited its sources as saying:

Korean carriers and broadcasters are underway to discuss licensing their content to Netflix in Korea. For Netflix, the main issue is how to cut costs in content delivery and lower its spending for network usage… Conditions in Korea are as favorable or better than they are in Japan for acceptance of Netflix’s on-demand services because the infrastructure in networks in Korea is already in place with households having easy access to broadband lines and mobile services.

And on why Netflix needs to strike deals with the South Korean carriers to succeed there:

When you see more data traffic, then Netflix will pay more for the delivery of content. However, charges of its main services were low, and that’s why Netflix needs substantial help from Korean carriers which operate networks. Netflix is on track to narrow differences over content licensing… Netflix’s advance in Korea will be helpful to local carriers to help them set up strategies in content business and also allow Korea’s media content to reach a global audience.

The sources also predict an impending doomsday for local broadcasters in South Korea — which will face growing competition from services such as Netflix and possibly Amazon — if they “fail to catch up with such changes.”

Netflix also has upcoming launch plans in a number of other markets including Italy, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, and the Czech Republic. It has previously said that it plans to be available in more than 200 countries by the end of 2016.

We’ve reached out to Netflix for comment, and will update you if we hear back.

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