SEC investigating Yahoo over data breaches

SEC investigating Yahoo over data breaches
Author

24 January, 2017

At the worst (from a Yahoo shareholder point of view), Verizon could receive some sort of discount from the current price and/or Yahoo could agree to partially/fully compensate Verizon for any potential future liabilities that could crop up due to the hack.

Yahoo is set to rename itself Altaba as soon as its $4.83 billion acquisition deal with Verizon Communications is complete.

During the quarter, Yahoo had adjusted earnings of 25 cents per share and revenue of $1.47 billion.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether two data breaches at Yahoo should have been reported sooner to investors.

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The new investigation was spotted by the Wall Street Journal, which noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had opened proceedings against Yahoo back in December, when it asked the company to provide documents relating to the breach. Surprisingly, Yahoo's fourth-quarter earnings were better than expected, with shares rising slightly in late trading after the company reported sales and profit that beat analysts' estimates.

The tech company announced last year that 500 million users were compromised by that breach but Yahoo waited two years to disclose it. Yahoo's board of directors has set up a committee to investigate the 2014 data breach in efforts to determine the "scope of knowledge within the company", the firm said in an SEC filing.

Investors hoping for any additional insight into the investigation or the sale will not be able to pose questions to Yahoo management on Monday, as the company is not hosting an investor call after releasing its earnings, citing its pending sale to Verizon. Verizon would be openly inviting the contempt of shareholders by paying the agreed price for Marissa's purple nightmare and that's even before we know how bad things got there in Q4 2016.

If the sale does go through, it's expected to close sometime in the first quarter, so this could be Yahoo's last earnings report as an independent company. What's more, Mayer remarked that the company's cost structure was the lowest in a decade, meaning Yahoo - despite the competitive pressures - is operating more efficiently. In September, Mark Warner, the Democratic senator, required the SEC to analyze the situation, revealing whether Yahoo and its executives managed to accomplish their duties to publish data about the hack from 2014.


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