Verizon says Yahoo hack 'material,' could affect deal

An advertisement for Verizon is seen at Times Square in New York New York

On Thursday, Verizon general counsel Craig Silliman told reporters in Washington D.C. that the breach may affect the deal. Silliman's statement indicates that Verizon is looking to Yahoo to prove the email breach would not have material consequences on the acquisition, but it remains to be seen whether Yahoo will be able to prove it.

Yahoo in September disclosed that it had fallen victim to a data breach in 2014 that compromised users' names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords. The real worry is that if Verizon walks away from the deal, it will delay the process of selling Yahoo's large stakes in two Asian tech companies, Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, which are worth far more than the portion of the company being sold to Verizon.

"We're looking to Yahoo to demonstrate to us the full impact they believe it's not, " Silliman said.

The New York telecommunications company in July offered to buy Yahoo's core assets - including its websites, email service and apps - extending a lifeline to a once-dominant Internet company that for years has bled cash and lost users to newer competitors. Verizon declined to comment Thursday if there were talks to renegotiate the price with Yahoo. They were down 1.8 percent to $41.62 at 3:43 p.m.in NY, while Verizon's were little changed at $50.34.

It's seeming more and more likely that the nonsensical deal in which Verizon would acquire the rotting, farting corpse of Yahoo for nearly $5 billion is maybe not going to go through as originally planned.

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"I don't think it has much of a choice".

Experts said bidders who try to extract themselves from mergers using the material adverse clause face an uphill battle.

A DE court ruled in 2001 that poultry producer Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) could not terminate its merger with beef producer IBP Inc over accounting irregularities.

The Times, quoting an unnamed government official, said that in order to comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, Yahoo had needed to modify its software which scans for spam and child pornography.