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Sale of core Yahoo assets to Verizon delayed

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 06:42

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Yahoo said on Monday that the closing of a US$4.8 billion deal to sell its core internet assets to US telecom titan Verizon has been delayed several months.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Yahoo said on Monday that the closing of a US$4.8 billion deal to sell its core internet assets to US telecom titan Verizon has been delayed several months.

A close originally set for this quarter has been pushed into next quarter, the pioneering internet firm said while releasing quarterly earnings figures that showed a profit of US$162 million in the final three months of last year.

"Yahoo has continued to work with Verizon on integration planning for the sale of its core business," the company said in a release.

The deal with Verizon, which would end Yahoo's run of more than 20 years as an independent company, has been thrown into doubt following disclosures of two huge data breaches.

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Yahoo said on Monday it is hustling to ramp up security as it grapples with the aftermath of epic hacks.

"Our top priority continues to be enhancing security for our users," Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer said.

She added that "approximately 90 per cent of our daily active users have already taken or do not need to take remedial action to protect their accounts, and we're aggressively continuing to drive this number up."

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into whether Yahoo should have informed investors sooner about two major data breaches, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

US law requires companies that fall victim to such hacks disclose them as soon as they are deemed to affect stock prices.

Yahoo announced in September that hackers in 2014 stole personal data from more than 500 million of its user accounts. It admitted another cyberattack in December, this one dating from 2013, affecting over a billion users.

The SEC's investigation is focusing on why it took Yahoo several years to reveal the 2013 and 2014 attacks.

The data breaches have been a major embarrassment for a former internet star that has failed to keep up with Google, Facebook and other rising stars.

The cyber attacks, and how notifying users was handled, has also raised concerns by investors that Verizon may seek to pay a lower price for Yahoo or even back out of the deal.

The earnings report showed Yahoo swung to profit a year after a massive US$4.4 billion loss in the same period a year earlier, resulting from a large writedown on the value of its holdings.

AFP

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