Yahoo and Verizon Agree to Drop the Acquisition Price by $350 Million

Updated deal follows recently disclosed data breaches

Verizon is expected to acquire Yahoo for $350 million less than the original deal. Verizon, Yahoo
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Verizon and Yahoo have agreed to drop the price of Verizon’s acquisition of the Yahoo by $350 million, following Yahoo’s disclosure of a massive data breach that became public last year.
According to a joint statement released by the companies today, the deal, which was expected to be finalized in the first quarter this year for $4.8 billion, is now expected to close in the second quarter for $4.48 billion. Yahoo originally announced the delay last month when it reported fourth-quarter earnings.
The news comes after months of speculation as to whether Verizon would go through with buying the ailing tech giant, especially after Yahoo revealed it had been the victim of two hacks that affected around 1.5 billion users.
In a statement, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said she is still “very excited to join forces” with Verizon and AOL. She said that the transaction will help quickly boost Yahoo’s mobile business while also financially separating itself from Chinese commerce company Alibaba.
“It is an important step to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo, and we can now move forward with confidence and certainty,” Mayer said. “We have a terrific, loyal, experienced team at Yahoo. I’m incredibly proud of our team’s strong product and financial execution in 2016, setting the stage for a successful integration.”
As a result of the updated agreement, Verizon and Yahoo have also agreed to “share certain legal and regulatory liabilities” related to the breach. Under the new terms, Yahoo will remain responsible for half of any cash liabilities related to third-party litigation, shareholder lawsuits or government investigations other than those with the Securities and Exchange Commissions. A report last month in The Wall Street Journal said the SEC had opened an investigation into the data breach to see if Yahoo had disclosed the details soon enough.
According to Marni Walden, Verizon’s executive vice president and president of product innovation and new businesses, the amended terms “provide a fair and favorable outcome for shareholders” that protects both parties.
“We have always believed this acquisition makes strategic sense,” Walden said in a statement. “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.”

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.