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Verizon Still an Ad Laggard to Google, Facebook After Yahoo Deal

  • Skeptics call it ‘laughable,’ fans like opportunistic move
  • Mobile user data, location, interests give carrier a chance

Verizon Communications Inc. is about to double the size of its toehold in digital advertising with the purchase of Yahoo! Inc. Even so, the wireless company will still be a distant No. 3 behind Google and Facebook Inc. in the $187 billion market.

Verizon could announce an agreement to buy Yahoo’s internet business for about $5 billion in the next few days, according to people familiar with the situation. A deal would advance Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam’s plan to make Verizon a powerhouse in mobile media.