Yahoo used to be a brand that’s synonymous with the Internet, but the tech industry’s former darling has certainly seen better days and will probably like to forget this year as quickly as possible. Following news of a massive data breach in 2014 which compromised approximately 500 million users, Yahoo found itself in the center of a spying scandal after Reuters reported the firm was scanning users’ emails for the US government. To make matters even worse, Yahoo just disclosed yet another hack which the Sunnyvale-based Internet company suffered in 2013. The scale of this incident is even greater, as the firm estimates one billion users were compromised by the 2013 hack. Given how Yahoo is currently in the process of trying to sell its core business to Verizon, it’s not surprising that the largest wireless carrier in the country is seeking to use the current situation as a bargaining chip to lower the $4.8 billion price tag the two firms initially agreed on this summer.
In fact, if latest reports are to be believed, the New Jersey-based mobile service provider is apparently even considering dropping the purchase of Yahoo altogether following news of the 2013 data breach. Now, regardless of whether that’s true or not, these rumors alone were enough to make investors worried, which resulted in Yahoo’s shares dropping 6% on Thursday. Back in October, Verizon’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told investors that the company is still in the process of assessing the severity of the data breach Yahoo suffered in 2014. However, there have been no updates on that endeavor ever since, and it remains to be seen how Verizon will react to news of the 2013 hack.
Now, Verizon’s reluctance to pay the figure initially agreed with Yahoo is understandable seeing how it’s possible that two massive security breaches with a spying scandal stuck between them would discourage a significant amount of consumers from using Yahoo’s services. That isn’t to say users are the only asset Yahoo has to offer to Verizon, but they’re certainly an important element of this acquisition. However, seeing how the largest wireless carrier in the US is looking to consolidate Yahoo with AOL, it doesn’t seem likely that Verizon will be looking to drop this deal altogether. Yahoo’s representative recently told TechCrunch that the company is still working towards merging with Verizon while the New Jersey-based wireless carrier is yet to comment on these latest developments.