Massive Data Breaches Cost Yahoo $350 Million in Sale to Verizon


Yahoo’s sale of its core business to Verizon for what was originally a $4.85 billion deal now sees amended terms wherein Verizon will also share costs of legal and regulatory liabilities related to two of the largest known data breaches that compromised Yahoo.

Originally revealed in July 2016, Verizon agreed to acquire Yahoo’s core business in a $4.8 billion deal. However, Yahoo closed a massive data breach in September, admitting to a cybersecurity compromise that saw the theft of at least 500 million users’ accounts and personal details in 2014. As a result, the closing of the deal was delayed.

Come December, Yahoo disclosed another data breach, pointing to a cyberattack in 2013 that affected over one billion user accounts, which remains the largest-known data breach in history. Yahoo claims that the attack was carried out by a state-sponsored hacker, although the claim is yet to be verified.

After details of the breaches were made public, questions were raised toward its impact on the Verizon deal. Rumors surfaced to claim that Verizon was looking for a discount from its original deal or quite possibly, even exit the deal altogether.

As it turns out, Verizon has carved out a $350 million discount from the original negotiated price.

An excerpt of a joint statement from Verizon and Yahoo read:

Under the amended terms, Verizon and Yahoo have agreed to reduce the price Verizon will pay to acquire Yahoo’s operating business by $350 million. In addition, Verizon and Yahoo will share certain legal and regulatory liabilities arising from certain data breaches incurred by Yahoo.

The amended terms will see Yahoo assume responsibility for 50% of any cash liabilities incurred following the ongoing SEC investigation looking into Yahoo’s delayed disclosure of its breaches. The internet giant will also be responsible for liabilities from any shareholder lawsuits and SEC investigations that arise in the future.

Marni Walden, executive vice president and president of new businesses at Verizon stated:

We have always believed this acquisition makes strategic sense. We look forward to moving ahead expeditiously so that we can quickly welcome Yahoo’s tremendous talent and assets into our expanding portfolio in the digital advertising space.

Yahoo’s acquisition by Verizon is now valued at $4.48 billion in cash and is expected to conclude in Q2 2017.

Image credit: Flickr.