Yahoo! The once great Internet search engine is now facing SEC investigation due to it's massive data breach that compromised over a billion Yahoo! accounts. The SEC is the Security Exchange Commission, which regulates the financial securities industry, stocks, and organizations such as Yahoo!. The SEC requires companies to disclose cybersecurity risks as soon as they're found out, and it appears Yahoo! failed to do this. This is all per, Fox Business.
In 2014 Yahoo! was hacked which compromised millions of accounts, but failed to disclose the hack until 2016 which Yahoo! then also discovered, that in 2013 another hack happened bringing the total number of compromised accounts to about a billion.
Yahoo! clearly violated the SEC policy, and could face federal charges. By doing this, Yahoo! did not let their stake and shareholders know about the hacks which is very unethical, and may have harmed user's information and investors money.
The SEC has not filed any charges yet, and it isn't clear if they will at all, but it sure shows some shady business going on at Yahoo!. This has some people saying Yahoo! took so long to disclose the breaches due to the pending Verizon-Yahoo! deal, which is terrible to all employees in both companies, as well as the investors. Very unethical.
Here is a video from Bloomberg explaining the situation:
According to CNBC, the Verizon-Yahoo! deal is still on for the time being, but with all stuff happening at Yahoo! it's looking very unattractive. Really what it boils down to, does Verizon need Yahoo! that bad?
If Verizon goes through with the deal, the thinking behind it may be, Verizon will put all this in the rearview mirror, and get what they wanted out of Yahoo! in the first place, digital advertising. If you want to make a pretty penny on the Internet, focus on selling ads and ad space.
Sure, Verizon wants content and resources Yahoo! has, but it's really all about them ad dollars. It's almost under the same guise of when Verizon scooped up AOL for $4.4 billion. Like stated above, ads are the name of the game when it comes to making money on the Internet.
Before the SEC probe, but with both hacks disclosed and the questions already raised, surprisingly Yahoo! finished Q4 okay. According to Fox Business, Yahoo!'s financial performance improved a bit, but also reflects the of the company and it's future. The article pointed to cost cutting that helped Yahoo! out somewhat in the past year.
Yahoo!'s CEO Marissa Mayer has planned to step down from Yahoo!'s board if Verizon still buys Yahoo!. Once the deal is closed and approved, Mayer will then rename Yahoo! to Altaba.
This whole thing is just a big blow to stake and shareholders of Yahoo!. It shows real unethical practices going on within Yahoo!, and plain incompetence of executives. Yahoo! clearly violated the SEC policy of immediately disclosing a cybersecurity issue by taking two years to disclose it, and then slyly disclosed an additional breach in 2013. Information was compromised, and money could very well have been affected for all parties involved with Yahoo! and even Verizon.
On one hand Verizon should not go on with this deal, let Yahoo! die a slow death and get acquired by someone like Google. If it's true that all Verizon really wants is digital advertising, it wouldn't take long to find a replacement deal, maybe Twitter?
On the other hand Verizon should accept the deal with Yahoo! and save a dying company. Verizon could renegotiate the price of the deal, save money, and get what they wanted out of the deal. Verizon could sweep the dust under the rug, and start fresh with what would then be Altaba. Yes, Altaba, weird.
Per Google, here are the 1 month stocks for both Yahoo! and Verizon (Click for larger images):