Verizon Communications said its USD 4.83 billion acquisition of Yahoo could be affected by evidence of the massive data breach of email accounts, Reuters reported, citing Verizon general counsel Craig Silliman at a roundtable in Washington. The data breach could trigger a clause in the deal that would allow Verizon to pull out. “I think we have a reasonable basis to believe right now that the impact is material and we’re looking to Yahoo to demonstrate to us the full impact. If they believe that it’s not then they’ll need to show us that,” Silliman said, declining to comment on whether talks are under way to renegotiate the purchase price.
Asked for comment, a Yahoo spokesman said: “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”
Silliman said the US Federal Trade Commission has approved Verizon’s planned acquisition of Yahoo, but it still needs approval from the European Commission and the US Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the proxy. Verizon has had preliminary briefings from Yahoo but it still needs “significant information” from the company before it makes a final decision on the materiality of the hacking of at least 500 million email accounts, Silliman said.
Some market watchers have suggested that Verizon may be trying to get a better price.