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Verizon's double down web bet is unlikely to work

By Jennifer Saba
Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO
Justin Solomon | CNBC

Verizon is doubling down on ancient web history. The telecom giant on Monday said it is splashing out $4.8 billion to buy Yahoo's core business. It effectively justifies rival T-Mobile's tongue-in-cheek claim earlier this year that Verizon is having a mid-life crisis. Verizon boss Lowell McAdam, after all, is betting the deal will help attract digital advertisers by meshing the internet-search firm with AOL, another 1990s highflier Verizon bought last year.

It's an appealing idea. Yahoo brings with it not just its search and advertising units, but also content like sports and finance that could play well with AOL's assets like the Huffington Post and TechCrunch. Verizon will also get its hands on Yahoo's 600 million monthly mobile users.