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AOL lays off 500 employees as Verizon-Yahoo acquisition looms

Verizon subsidiary AOL is laying off approximately 5% of its staff as it shifts its focus toward mobile and video, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said today. The cuts, which Armstrong said would consolidate recent AOL acquisitions, presage the type of staffing changes that could affect Yahoo in early 2017 as Verizon closes its $4.8 billion acquisition of the Silicon Valley icon. 

Verizon has been rattling its saber over the price it agreed to pay for Yahoo’s core business ever since Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer disclosed in September that her company had been the victim of a massive hack affecting 500 million users. Armstrong reaffirmed Verizon’s intention to see the acquisition through, despite pricing renegotiations, in an interview with Fast Company earlier this month. 

Combining AOL’s advertising technology with Yahoo’s user base served as the primary rationale for the deal. AH