Yahoo sale delayed, but still going ahead

Yahoo’s long goodbye continues to drag on, with its sale to Verizon now delayed after massive account breaches and reports of an SEC investigation dog the company

Marissa Mayer has enjoyed a less-than-glamorous time as Yahoo CEO, failing in her attempts to revive the beleaguered company

Yahoo’s prolonged demise is set to continue for a little longer, with the company delaying the completion of its sale to Verizon until the second quarter of this year. The announcement comes after the company discovered it was victim to the largest known data breach ever, with over a billion users affected, and heard reports that it is the target of a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation.

The company announced the delay of the sale alongside its 2016 fourth-quarter results. According to Yahoo, the data breaches, which occurred in 2013 and 2014 but were only discovered last year, have not had an effect on user interaction levels. The company reported that 90 percent of daily users had either changed their account settings, or were unaffected by the breach.

The existence of the data breaches was only revealed after Verizon agreed to purchase Yahoo for $4.8bn in July 2016

“With our 2016 and Q4 financial results ahead of plan, and the continued stability in our user engagement trends, the opportunities ahead with Verizon look bright”, said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in a statement.

The existence of the breaches was only revealed after Verizon agreed to purchase Yahoo for $4.8bn in July 2016. Speaking to The New York Times, Verizon spokesperson Bob Varettoni said the company was still evaluating the effects of the data breaches.

The delay also comes after a report from The Wall Street Journal stated the SEC is investigating whether Yahoo met its obligations to investors by reporting on the data breaches in a timely manner. Yahoo, the SEC and Verizon are yet to comment on the matter.

The delay is another marker of Yahoo’s long demise as an early titan of the internet. After early success, a range of poor decisions and failed turnaround attempts has led the company to where it is today. Mayer stepped into her current role in 2012, but failed to pull the company out of its slow decline.

For an in-depth look at the rise and fall of Yahoo, read The New Economy’s special report on the business and its history.

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