In a bit of news from the, "we expected that" department, Yahoo's board of directors has approved a deal to purchase the micro-blogging service Tumblr for a cool $1.1 billion (£724 million) in cash. The official announcement from Yahoo could arrive imminently, eclipsing whatever news Yahoo is rumoured to be announcing regarding its Flickr service.
Most of the news of the acquisition has been first reported by AllThingsD throughout the weekend, including the detail that the board meeting – a "foregone conclusion" – was apparently a unanimous approval. While Tumblr hasn't publicly confirmed the deal as far as we've been able to gather thus far, it's believed that the company already had an agreement in place with Yahoo earlier this week.
In other words, it might be incorrect to say at this point that Yahoo has purchased Tumblr outright, but it's known that the two companies have been chatting since last week to iron out the final details of the hopeful acquisition.
According to Swisher, Tumblr CEO David Karp will retain a significant amount of influence into the goings-on of the service. It's unclear at this point what his new title will be, if it's changing, but he's also going to be joining the rank-and-file of Yahoo for a minimum of four years as part of the two companies' alleged agreement. Yahoo, in turn, will pour the might of its advertising infrastructure into Tumblr in an attempt to better monetise a service that, for the most part, has been fairly resistant to more common forms of Web advertising.
The service earned approximately $13 million (£9 million) in total revenue last year, but commands a not-so-insignificant user base: 117 million visitors this past April, according to data from comScore, and around 108 million blogs with 50.7 billion posts in total.
At least all that Tumblr porn doesn't appear to be any kind of a roadblock for Yahoo's decision or ambitions.
Yahoo's agreement to purchase Tumblr outright has managed to catch the attention of a few financial-followers within the tech circles, namely due to Yahoo's most recent quarterly earnings statement where executives commented that Yahoo had a total of $1.2 billion (£790 million) in cash on-hand.
"Yahoo's purchase of Tumblr, if the terms are correct, is a strong indicator of just how badly it wants to get expand in media-based social networking," wrote TechCrunch.
Yahoo's acquisition is Marissa Mayer's biggest yet during her reign as CEO. It's also likely to be an opportunity that galvanises the Tumblr community — or at least, factions within it that are against the move — into a flurry of captioned images, animated gifts, and snark.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Yahoo is in talks to buy up video site Hulu.