How much of Verizon’s revenue comes from haram?

Verizon earns its revenue from the following revenue sources:

  • Consumer:

Includes Verizon’s wireless and wireline communication services and products paid on a postpaid or prepaid basis.

Verizon also offers wireless equipment to customers, including smartphones, handsets, wireless-enabled Internet devices, tablets, and smartwatches.

  • Business:

Wireless and wireline communication solutions including internet access services (such as mobile data), video and conferencing services, corporate networking solutions, security network services, voice calling, and messaging services.

  • Corporate and other:

Verizon offers services such as emailing (aol.com), news (Yahoo), finance (Yahoo Finance), sports broadcasting, and streaming services.  

Verizon earns revenue from the aforementioned services primarily through digital advertising on its platforms.

The contributions from each of Verizon’s revenue segments in their 2020 annual report were as follows:

Areas of concern for Practical Islamic Finance are revenue generated from digital advertising (if the product/service being advertised is not Islamic) and media content that may conflict with Islamic values.

The following table depicts the declining percentages of Verizon’s Corporate and Other revenue segment relative to its total revenue for each respective year from 2018 to 2020:

201820192020
Corporate & Other Revenue /
Total revenue
8.35%7.44%7.28%

It would be inaccurate to consider all revenue generated by Verizon’s video streaming services and online advertising to be haram.

However, determining what percentage actually relates to things that are haram is extremely difficult since Verizon does not provide advertiser-specific and show/movie-specific breakdowns for its revenue.

If we had to guess, less than 50% of revenue generated by online advertising and media content is suspect. Keep in mind, just a guess. If our completely unscientific guess is accurate, that would put revenue from haram sources at ~3.64% of total revenue.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Given our estimate of suspect revenue from video streaming and advertising revenue being less than 5% and given that this revenue has shown a declining trend in recent years, Practical Islamic Finance finds only a non-material part of Verizon’s revenue comes from haram.

Does Verizon rely on interest to operate?

According to the company’s annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 (Numbers in thousands, U.S. dollars):

Interest Income: $65,000

Total Revenue: $128,292,000

Interest Expense: $4,247,000

Total Expenses: $99,494,000

Interest Income / Revenue: 0.05%

Interest Expense / Total Expense: 4.27%

The following table depicts the declining percentages of Verizon’s interest income and expenses relative to total revenues and expenses from 2017 to 2020. 

2017201820192020
Interest Income / Revenue0.07%0.07%0.09%0.05%
Interest Expense / Total Expense4.89%4.65%
4.66%4.27%

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Riba is used but not relied upon in Verizon’s operations.

What is Verizon’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) impact?

Environment

According to Verizon’s 2020 ESG report, Verizon recycled over 35.6 million pounds of electronic waste in 2020.

In addition, Verizon partnered with reforestation-related organizations to plant more than 4.4 million trees.

Social

In 2020, Verizon donated $1M to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help find missing children and promote digital safety.

In addition, according to Verizon, the company helped block over 7 billion robocalls for its customers.

Verizon has a relatively high Glassdoor rating of 3.9 out of 5.0 from over 24,000 current and previous employees compared to a 3.3 average for all other Glassdoor rated companies.

Governance

No notable governance highlights.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Verizon has a net positive ESG impact.

Comfort Rating

From Verizon’s business, financial, and ESG reviews, Practical Islamic Finance rates Verizon stock as:

Comfortable to invest in from a Halal perspective.

Sources

2020 10-K 

2019 10-K  

2018 10-K 

Verizon 2020 ESG Report 
Glassdoor Reviews