At a company public policy round table in DC this afternoon, Verizon general counsel Craig Silliman said: “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 did not comment on reports that Verizon is asking Yahoo for a discount on the $4.8 billion deal.
While we have no inside knowledge about our parent company’s discussions, Silliman calling the impact “material” is probably not the best sign for Yahoo. It suggests that Verizon may be renegotiating the terms of the deal.
Although the acquisition was already announced, Verizon may be able to make the claim that Yahoo did not disclose its knowledge of the hacks. Reports indicate that Yahoo may have been aware of the incident in July, which was around the time the deal was announced. However, in September, Yahoo issued a statement that they had been unaware at the time.
When reached for comment today, a Yahoo spokesperson said, “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”
After being asked about the hack in a televised interview with CNBC a couple of weeks ago, AOL’s Tim Armstrong said, “the data thing was something new that got introduced and we’ll work through that together with” Yahoo. He added that he wants to be “protective” of the Verizon shareholders.