In the wake of data breaches at Yahoo that may impact 1.5 million customers, Verizon Communications is conveying mixed messages as to whether or not it will move ahead with its proposed $4.8 billion acquisition, with one executive saying it’s up in the air and another claiming the deal is likely to go through.
According to a Reuters report during the Citi 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications conference in Las Vegas, Marni Walden, president of product innovation and new businesses at Verizon, said: “I can’t sit here today and say with confidence one way or another because we still don’t know.” According to Reuters, the executive did say there are still merits to the deal.
At the same time that Walden was saying the deal was uncertain, AOL Chief Tim Armstrong was telling CNBC the deal is likely to go through. “The hacking news that came out of Yahoo … is something that Verizon and the general counsel of Verizon is dealing directly with Yahoo on,” Armstrong said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
“I remain hopeful the deal will close, and I think we’ll see what the outcomes are of the Yahoo investigations in the meantime.”
Armstrong wouldn’t comment on whether or not Verizon wants a discount in order for the deal to go through but said Verizon and Yahoo are working to meld the two companies to be prepared if the deal closes. “I think we’re in a position where our 2020 goals are really clear. We want to get to billions of consumers. Yahoo is one step in that process,” he said. “Our focus area right now is making sure the culture and the teams work well together in terms of the potential integration.”