According to a Bloomberg report, Verizon Communications Inc. is close to a renegotiated deal for Yahoo! Inc.’s internet properties. The altered agreement would reduce the price of the $4.8 billion deal by approximately $250 million, after the revelation of security breaches at the web company.
In addition to the discount, Verizon and the entity that remains of Yahoo after the deal, to be renamed Altaba Inc., are said to share any ongoing legal responsibilities related to the breaches going forward. An announcement of the new agreement could come in a matter of days or weeks, said people familiar with the matter. The revised agreement isn’t final and could still change.
“It looks like they’re going to get a price cut — but it’s not dramatic,” said Brett Harriss, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. There is “more certainty around there actually being a sale.”
Yahoo said in December that cyberthieves in 2013 siphoned information including users’ e-mail addresses, scrambled account passwords and dates of birth. The stolen data may allow criminals to go after more sensitive personal information elsewhere online. The announcement followed news in September of a 2014 breach that affected at least 500 million customer accounts.
Representatives for Yahoo, Verizon and Verizon’s AOL unit declined to comment.
Last month, Yahoo said the sale would be delayed to the second quarter as the company assesses the impact from the breaches and meets closing conditions. The deal was first announced in July and had been set to wrap in the first quarter of 2017.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is under pressure to conclude the deal. Her failure to turn around the company led to a bidding process that Verizon won in July. Mayer was running the company when both of the hacks took place.
Yahoo had said it hadn’t been able to identify the “intrusion” associated with the theft by a third party in August 2013. The event was unearthed by forensic experts after law enforcement investigators warned the company about a potential breach.
The attacks on Yahoo’s system have sparked concerns from regulators and prompted lawsuits. In November, the company said it was cooperating with federal, state, and foreign governmental officials and agencies seeking information about the 2014 hack, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.