Verizon's deal for Yahoo's web properties will go ahead after Yahoo agreed to a $350m discount in the price agreed last July, bringing the value of the deal down to $4.48bn.
The remaining portion of Yahoo not included in the sale - now effectively comprised of little more than Yahoo Japan and a valuable stake in Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba - also agreed to share "certain legal and regulatory liabilities arising from certain data breaches incurred by Yahoo".
The financial release continued: "Under the amended terms, Yahoo will be responsible for 50 per cent of any cash liabilities incurred following the closing related to non-SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] investigations and third-party litigation related to the breaches. Liabilities arising from shareholder lawsuits and SEC investigations will continue to be the responsibility of Yahoo."
The deal will now be completed, if not by the end of March, then early in the second quarter. The Yahoo web properties will be rolled up into Verizon's own collection of web properties, including the AOL business that Verizon bought in a $4.4bn deal in 2015. The deal for Verizon, of course, is largely about eyeballs and online advertising.
The acquisition had been agreed in July last year following an auction in which Verizon emerged the winner. However, several security scandals emerged before Yahoo was able to complete the deal, putting back the completion date.
These scandals included admissions that the company might not have disclosed everything that it should have done about earlier security breaches. Most recently, Yahoo had to admit that some Ymail email accounts had been compromised in a series of ‘forged cookie' attacks.
Earlier reports had suggested that Verizon was demanding a discount of as much as $1bn off the acquisition price.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, meanwhile, was pleased to get the deal as good as done. "I'm incredibly proud of our team's strong product and financial execution in 2016, setting the stage for a successful integration," said Mayer.
Yahoo claims to have more than one billion users and 600 million mobile users, although most of those will be using the company for its tarnished free email service.
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