Verizon is having doubts about its potential acquisition of Yahoo, the company’s executive Marni Walden revealed on Thursday. During the Citi 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas, the President of Verizon’s Product Innovation and New Businesses unit said the company still isn’t certain whether to go through with acquiring Yahoo’s core business. Walden said the deal still makes sense on paper, alluding to Verizon’s previously revealed plans to merge Yahoo and AOL. However, the company is apparently having doubts about the deal due to two massive data breaches and an unrelated spying scandal Yahoo was involved in recently. Walden said that no final decisions will be made on Verizon’s part before federal authorities wrap up their investigation of a 2013 hacking attack which compromised a billion Yahoo accounts.
The company’s executive also revealed how she doesn’t believe the deal will be completed in the coming weeks due to the federal investigation in question. Walden said that while no one at Verizon is looking to drag out their already prolonged negotiations with Yahoo, they also aren’t keen on making any hasty decisions while the US authorities are still trying to make sense of the massive data breach Yahoo suffered three years ago. Yahoo hasn’t issued any comments on this statement.
Reports of Verizon being reluctant about acquiring Yahoo following the company’s set of scandals in the second half of 2016 have been emerging for months. The largest wireless carrier in the United States initially planned to pay approximately $4.8 billion for Yahoo’s Internet business, but the very same business received a lot of bad press after the company had admitted to two massive data breaches and Reuters reported Yahoo was involved in a US spying program. Up until now, Verizon was relatively quiet about how this latest set of events could affect its planned acquisition, with the company’s representatives only stating how they’re trying to assess potential damage to Yahoo’s brand before making any decisions, much like Walden did on Thursday. If the deal goes through at some point this year, then Verizon may end up consolidating Yahoo’s operations with that of AOL in an effort to grow its advertising business and diversify its revenue stream in the long term.