Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo has been put off until the second quarter of the year, the Sunnyvale-based Internet firm revealed in its latest financial report published on Monday. While no firm dates have been given, Yahoo said the transaction is unlikely to be completed until Q2 2017 as the company still needs to meet closing conditions that are reportedly extremely demanding. Verizon was initially expected to acquire Yahoo's core business during the first quarter of the year.
The largest carrier in the United States would have likely already acquired Yahoo's Internet unit in 2016 if the company didn't end up in the center of two hacking scandals. Yahoo recently disclosed how it suffered two massive breaches in 2013 and 2014 which reportedly compromised hundreds of millions of its users. This revelation made Verizon reluctant to go through with its acquisition before all investigations into the matter are completed. However, as older probes into Yahoo were finished, new ones started emerging, such as the one that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly started in late 2016. The SEC is allegedly looking into Yahoo's potential violations of its 2011 guidelines which mandate that companies disclose all cyber security risks to investors as quickly as possible. Seeing how Yahoo was reportedly aware of the 2014 data breach for two years before going public with the information, the Internet firm may face large fines if the SEC recommends litigation based on its guidelines.
While Yahoo has been facing many difficulties since it started negotiating with Verizon last year, the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marissa Mayer now said that "opportunities ahead with Verizon look bright." Her comments imply that the Sunnyvale-based firm is still completely dedicated to selling its Internet business to the Big Red as soon as possible. It remains to be seen whether that transaction is truly completed by mid-2017 seeing how the SEC just started its probe into Yahoo's handling of data breaches and Verizon's officials repeatedly stated the deal won't be finalized until all related investigations are closed. The largest carrier in the United States previously agreed to pay approximately $4.8 billion for Yahoo's Internet business, but the company may want to haggle over the final price if Yahoo ends up facing any financial consequences of the manner in which it handled the data breaches it suffered in previous years.