16 February 2017
Verizon may be on the verge of finalising its acquisition of Yahoo in a revised, discounted deal in the same week the internet firm has announced it suffered another security breach.
The telecommunications firm announced plans to buy Yahoo’s core internet business last July for a staggering $4.83bn (£3.6bn) but the deal was hit by a string of embarrassing incidents, and it now seems costly, scandals involving data privacy at Yahoo.
In September, 500 million Yahoo customers learned their accounts had been compromised in a suspected state-sponsored 2014 attack (this made an earlier admission that Yahoo had seen 200 million accounts breached seem insignificant).
Then, in December, as a result of an investigation into the 2014 breach, it was found that an additional 1,000,000,000 (one billion) accounts had data stolen in 2013.
This week, Yahoo sent another wave of emails to users warning their accounts may have been breached as recently as last year.
A flaw in Yahoo’s mail service could have allowed a hacker to use a forged “cookie” created by software stolen from within Yahoo’s systems to access accounts without a password.
Amid the fallout of the older data breaches, Verizon’s deal was delayed as it reportedly negotiated a discount. It is now set to close as soon as this week, with Verizon expected to pay $250m (£200m) to $350m (£280m) less than the agreed price.
Will Verizon this time push for another discount?