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Yahoo's Email Hack Could Cause Verizon To Abandon $4.8 Billion Deal

Yahoo's Email Hack Could Cause Verizon To Abandon $4.8 Billion Deal

Craig Silliman, general counsel at the acquisitive USA telecoms company, said yesterday that the security breaches represented material events that could justify a change in the terms of the takeover, following the auction of the company, which Verizon won with a bid of $4.8bn (£3.9bn) - compared with a peak company valuation of $125bn in January 2000.

Yahoo agreed in July to sell its core assets to Verizon for $4.8 billion, ending a 20-year run as an independent company for the internet pioneer.

"I think we have a reasonable basis to believe right now that impact is material", Verizon General Counsel Craig Silliman said at a roundtable, according to The Washington Post.

Yahoo's 2014 email hack may cost the company $4.8 billion.

Perhaps, Yahoo could still prove to the telecom company that damages caused by the massive data breach hasn't eaten deep into its value-and that is precisely what Verizon wants the tech giant to do.

A company's spokesman also reported that Verizon planned to continue with the integration process as it was confident in Yahoo's value. The executive did note that "in fairness we are still understanding what was going on and defining whether it was a material impact on the business or not". "Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter", Yahoo said. The deal was expected to close by the end of March 2017.

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Yahoo has already faced a spate of problems, including declining users.

The Times, quoting an unnamed government official, said that in order to comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, Yahoo had needed to modify its software which scans for spam and child pornography. If the deal is terminated, Yahoo may be required to pay Verizon relatively small termination fee of $145 million and engage other bidders.

Looking to renegotiate the deal could bring risks for Verizon. The decision, unusual for a public company, was chalked up to its pending deal to be acquired by Verizon.

Yahoo noted in its announcement that "online intrusions and thefts by state-sponsored actors have become increasingly common across the technology industry".

Silliman also mentioned that Verizon has had introductory briefings from Yahoo however despite everything it needs "huge data" from the organization before it settles on an official choice on the materiality of the hacking of nearly 500 million email accounts. It urged customers to change their passwords and invalidate unencrypted security questions and answers.

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