Late last week, and as far back as December, Verizon has said “yes” when asked whether it was interested in purchasing some or all of the struggling company.
The largest phone carrier in the US has not hired bankers to conduct an offer and there have been no formal talks, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because Verizon’s plans have not been made public.
Still, as Yahoo sorts out its strategy, Mr Armstrong is taking a lead in preliminary discussions, the person said.
Verizon is looking to make its streaming video service a source of new sales and profit. Yahoo, with more than 1bn people using its email, finance, sports, and video sites, represents a prized asset to combine with AOL’s 2m users and Verizon’s more than 112m wireless subscribers.
That kind of web traffic, along with exclusive content, is just what Verizon needs to secure a foothold in video advertising against YouTube and Facebook.
Yahoo and Verizon declined to comment. Mr Armstrong’s outreach picks up on conversations he had in 2014 with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at the Allen & Co media conference in Idaho, according to another source.
This was a year before Verizon acquired AOL and when Mr Armstrong was exploring a deal to combine the two former web portal giants.