Yahoo!, the internet search engine and technology company, has been around since the earliest boom of the internet. Founded in 1994 by two college students, it was once the most popular websites on the internet. Many people had a @yahoo.com email address or spent their free time messaging friends on Yahoo Messenger. Now, it seems that Yahoo’s run is coming to its end, at least in the form we’ve traditionally known. It was announced in July of 2016 that Verizon intends to purchase the tech company. Yahoo had agreed to sell its web assets for $4.8 billion, though that number may change.
Now, this purchase from Verizon doesn’t necessarily mean that you will never see the name Yahoo again. TechCrunch reported that the web portion of the company is going to be sold to Verizon, while the remainder will remain intact and will be renamed as a new company, Altaba. This new company will be an investment company and will maintain it’s 15 percent state in Alibaba along with its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan. The reactions to the name change have been varied.
In light of recent security findings, the negotiations for the sale haven’t been easy either. In September a breach of security caused at least 500 million accounts to be hacked, being the largest hack that was known of at the time. It was then discovered that in 2013, a hack of over a billion accounts had occurred. CNN reported that the 2013 hack was very profitable for the hackers, stating “At the time, it was sold to three parties for $300,000 each. Data is still for sale, but now that the breach is public, the price is expected to drop.”
Yahoo’s security in these matters is a concern for Verizon as it looks to the sale. In fact, the proposed purchase price of $4.8 billion could change as negotiations continue. Verizon has actually been on record as noting “risks that Verizon may assert, or threaten to assert, rights or claims with respect to the Stock Purchase Agreement as a result of facts relating to the security incidents disclosed on September 22, 2016 and December 14, 2016 and may seek to terminate the Stock Purchase Agreement or renegotiate the terms of the Sale Transaction on that basis.” Even with these concerns, the sale of Yahoo to Verizon seems to still be moving forward, though there is still the option for them to exit from the deal.
In addition to the name and focus change, the operations of the company will be modified. The board will be reduced from 11 to five, according to PCWorld. One of the most noteworthy changes is that the current CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, will be leaving the board, along with 6 other members including co-founder David Filo. Mayer became CEO in 2012, and was tasked with trying to bring the company back into the fold as its numbers had been declining. An analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence is quoted as saying, “The end of the Marissa Mayer era — it looks like her plan is to complete the sale of the operating company to Yahoo and let the lawyers and tax accountants figure out the best option for the stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan.” A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission stated that the members leaving was “not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices.”
It’s still not clear what exactly we can expect to see from Yahoo under its new ownership but some think that the platforms that Yahoo possessed will meld well with Verizon’s AOL holdings.
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