Once driving becomes automated, drivers want to do something. All that idle time behind the wheel creates an enormous window for consumption of content, including ads. As cars head towards becoming cellphones-on-wheels, it's natural that a mobile telecom behemoth wants to shape the future of that market.
Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo provides content that can ride on top of Verizon's nation-wide mobile network while creating a new competitor for Google. Sure, Verizon and Yahoo aren't cool, but Verizon steps to the table with many strengths, including long-standing lobbying muscle to guide policy evolution to it's own ends. In the heavily regulated automotive and telecommunications sectors, that counts for a lot.
Tim Armstrong, the CEO of Verizon-owned AOL, said he has "enormous respect for what Yahoo has accomplished" and that integrating the two former internet powerhouses will "create a new powerful competitive rival in mobile media, and an open, scaled alternative offering for advertisers and publishers." Mayer, like Armstrong, previously worked at Google (GOOG) before taking over the top spot at Yahoo in 2012. She invested heavily in improving Yahoo's mobile products, expanding its audience through the acquisition of Tumblr and doubling down on premium media content. She brought in TV journalist Katie Couric as Yahoo's "global anchor."