Verizon Communications Inc.'s planned $4.83 billion acquisition of Yahoo Inc. represents a bet that the troubled web portal will give the largest U.S. wireless carrier a leg up in expanding its audience as it diversifies away from being a telephone and internet provider. The transaction would help Verizon achieve its goal of increasing its global audience to two billion users and $20 billion revenue by 2020 by marrying Yahoo's content and its one billion monthly active users with Verizon's 110 million customers, executives from both companies said. Yahoo offers Verizon more viewers from Yahoo sites like Finance, Sports and News. The carrier also would gain the rights to royalty payments from Yahoo Japan valued at tens of millions of dollars annually. But it will also assume about $1 billion of employee stock-based awards. The deal "takes us from being millions in terms of audience to billions," said Marni Walden, Verizon's head of product innovation and new business, who will oversee the integration of Yahoo into Verizon. The greater scale will help the carrier better leverage the advertising platform it acquired from AOL last year, and accelerate revenue growth in its nascent media business.
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