No matter how you look at the performcance of AOL-Yahoo under Verizon's ownership, you have to see it as a total failure.
A writedown of $4.6 billion dollars will go down is in recent memory not quite as big as the Microsoft writedown of their Nokia purchase which was over $7 billion dollars. In many ways the whole move by Verizon to try to get into the content and Silicon Valley style information services business was a mistake. It reminded me of AT&T's buy many years ago of TCI cable where a rich buyer saw all the potential of the combination, and none of the hurdles to successful integration and success.
Looking back, Yahoo would have been better selling to Microsoft, if the DOJ would have permitted it, but instead the Yahoo we all grew up and loved, is basically a thing of the past. Granted there's a ton of IP inside the Yahoo purchase, but Verizon isn't the kind of company that plays the patent game as a core way they operate.
Instead Verizon needs to look at what they have that's popular and see what they can make money off of, or what and to who they can sell off to. Flickr and YahooMail are two services that have legacy loyal customers so there's both recurring revenue and the potential for growth, albeit, with some smart marketing. Other assets inside AOL-Yahoo include patents that are likely being stepped on, Then there is the core advertising delivery platform that came from Yahoo, and the ad sales platform that came from AOL. To some advertising driven sales group, like iHeart, there would be dynamic synergies.
The bottom line is the writedown is a tax game, but the future games of partnerships and sales are only just getting started.