Verizon Communications is close to renegotiating its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo in which Verizon could end up paying less for the internet giant that has been marred by a series of data breaches that put the entire deal at risk.
According to a report by Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter, the new deal could come with a price tag that is reduced by roughly $250 million. What’s more, after the deal closes, what is left of Yahoo will share with Verizon any legal responsibilities that occur because of the breach. An announcement, reported Bloomberg, could come in days or weeks. The revised deal could still fall apart, noted Bloomberg.
Ever since Yahoo disclosed two massive data breaches, questions have been swirling about whether or not Verizon will move ahead with its acquisition of Yahoo’s core internet business. Verizon has said it was evaluating the impact, while Yahoo has repeatedly said it is confident the deal will close.
At the end of December, Bloomberg reported that the breaches weren’t going to be enough to derail the deal. Citing experts, Bloomberg said Yahoo isn’t alone in getting hacked, and with the short attention spans of Americans, those breaches, even the massive ones, are soon forgotten. “I tend to not feel like these hacks are that big of a deal in the broader scheme of things,” Michael Mahoney, senior managing director at Falcon Point Capital, told Bloomberg in an interview. “Obviously, they can be damaging. But it doesn’t take too long before people forget about it.”
Infiltrating companies’ computer networks has been a favorite pastime of hackers for years, but recently, the pace and sophistication of the attacks have increased rapidly. The Identity Theft Resource Center, which Bloomberg cited in its report, pegs the number of data breaches in the U.S. at close to 1,000 this year alone, potentially impacting more than 35 million personal records, such as Social Security numbers and bank account information. Many of the companies saw an initial hit to their businesses but only for a short period of time.