Business Briefs: Verizon selling Tumblr to owner of blogging platform WordPress

Business Briefs: Verizon selling Tumblr to owner of blogging platform WordPress

August 12th, 2019 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

Verizon is selling Tumblr, a darling of early social media, to the owner of blogging platform WordPress.

Tumblr is known for its devoted fan base and has been home to angry posts from celebrities like Taylor Swift. It angered many users last year when it banned porn and "adult content," which made up a big part of its highly visual and meme-friendly online presence.

But well before that, the site has already been drifting in the face of competition from Facebook and its Instagram service and from Google's YouTube. Tumblr has also been overshadowed by Twitter.

Verizon got Tumblr through its 2017 purchase of Yahoo. Yahoo had bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013, but ended up writing off much of its value . Terms of Verizon's sale to WordPress owner Automattic weren't disclosed.

Verizon had hoped to create an ad business to compete with Google and Facebook but its media business ran into trouble. It has cut jobs and sold some Yahoo properties, including the photo-sharing site Flickr and Polyvore, a fashion and collaging site that was then shut down.


State troopers sue Ford over Explorer fumes

Six Washington state troopers have sued Ford, claiming their patrol vehicles made them sick from carbon monoxide poisoning. The officers blame a design flaw in 2014-17 Explorer SUVs modified for police duty.

The troopers allege their department-issued vehicles have a faulty exhaust and/or heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that allow "exhaust odor and gases, including carbon monoxide — an odorless, toxic gas, to enter the passenger compartment of the vehicles while in use." As a result, the lawsuit filed in Clark County Superior Court said, the vehicles cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and potentially life-threatening situations.

In the lawsuit, troopers allege that the "hazardous defect" has resulted in numerous complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the opening of a federal investigation into the vehicles. The lawsuit also notes that "Ford has recently issued an emission recall notice for all Ford Interceptor SUVs built from 2011-18."

"The defect is not new to Ford," the lawsuit says. As early as 2012, Ford had "issued Technical Service Bulletins to its exclusive network of dealers, recognizing the presence of exhaust odors and fumes."