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Verizon reportedly shopping Tumblr around to potential buyers

Pornhub might toss its digital hat into the ring.

Tumblr logo is seen on an android mobile phone
Tumblr may be on the auction block.
Omar Marques/Getty Images

Verizon Communications is looking for a buyer to take blogging website Tumblr off its hands as it looks to improve its media business's bottom line, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

The sales process, which the Journal warned might not result in a transaction, comes as Verizon struggles to make its transition from a wireless and broadband company into a media brand and create an alternative to digital advertising juggernauts Google and Facebook.

After news of possible sale began to circulate on Thursday, Pornhub Vice President Corey Price told said that it's "extremely interested" in acquiring the blogging site. Price said he believed the two brands could benefit from each other. 

"Tumblr was a safe haven for those who wanted to explore and express their sexuality, adult entertainment aficionados included," Price said in a statement. "We've long been dismayed that such measures were taken to eradicate erotic communities on the platform, leaving many individuals without an asylum through which they could comfortably peruse adult content."

Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo's operating business for $4.83 billion in 2016, though the price was slashed by $350 million after it was revealed Yahoo had suffered two massive data breaches. Yahoo bought Tumblr in 2013 in a $1.1 billion deal.

In 2017, Verizon merged AOL and Yahoo into its business, creating the media division dubbed Oath. But Verizon admitted late last year that the assets weren't as valuable as it had thought. The company announced in December it was writing down a $4.6 billion goodwill impairment in the fourth quarter as a result of the acquisitions.

Tumblr has historically struggled to compete with other social media, such as Medium, Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012.

The site was dealt another setback in November when the Tumblr app vanished from the Apple App Store for roughly a month after child pornography slipped through the company's content filters. A crackdown on adult content in December led in a single month to a 17% decline in desktop and mobile page views.

Verizon and Pornhub didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published May 2 at 4:10 p.m. PT.
Update May 3, at 10:16 a.m. PT: Added new information about Pornhub's potential interest in acquisition. 10:36 a.m. PT: Added statement from Pornhub.