Verizon is reportedly set to buy out Yahoo, a deal which has been in the making for months, yet with an estimated $250-350m discount.
A source told Reuters the buyout is set to go ahead in February however, it will be less than the original agreed price of $4.83bn. This is down to the reputational damage Yahoo suffered last year after it was announced two massive cyberattacks had hit the company.
The company was criticised for attempting to hide the data breaches, with hit a total of 1.2bn Yahoo account holders, as it waited nearly four years to reveal the cyberattacks took place.
If the revised deal does go ahead, it will mean Verizon and Yahoo will share liability from potential lawsuits related to the data breaches.
Verizon reportedly wants to combine Yahoo’s search, email and advertising technology tools with its AOL unit, which was purchased by Verizon in 2015. The deal with AOL was a lot more straightforward than its current one to buy Yahoo – no less because it appears that Yahoo may have suffered another data breach.
Yesterday, Yahoo sent a warning to users whose accounts may have been accessed by intruders between 2015 and 2016, as part of a data security issue related to the 1bn account breach it disclosed in December. The stolen data included email addresses, birth dates and answers to security questions.
In a statement, the company said someone of the compromises may have been carried out by a “state-sponsored actor”. It wouldn’t state how many people may have been affected by the recent issue.
Earlier this year it was announced that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is examining whether Yahoo should have told investors sooner about the two huge data breaches. The company’s chief executive, Marissa Mayer, reportedly knew Yahoo was investigating the first of the major breaches in July 2016, two months before it was announced to investors and the public.
Business Insider reported that even if Verizon does choose to fire Mayer once it acquires Yahoo, she will walk away with over $44m in severance pay and compensation.