Cancel! that! yacht! order! Marissa! – Verizon's! still! cold! on! Yahoo! gobble!

$4.8bn deal still very much up in the air

Photo by Magnus Höij
Oh! sod! off!, journo! twerps! ... Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (Photo by Magnus Höij)

A Verizon executive is once again casting doubt on the telco giant's $4.8bn bid to acquire Yahoo!

Speaking at an investor conference in Las Vegas today, executive vice president Marni Walden said of the deal, "Unfortunately, I can't sit here today and say with confidence one way or the other because we still don't know."

The comments come as speculation rages about whether Verizon will walk away from its purchase of the Marissa-Mayer-led Purple Palace, following the disclosure of a pair of massive security breaches that exposed more than a billion user accounts. Mayer was in line for a windfall of more than $50m, should the acquisition actually happen.

Those two network break-ins, which happened in 2013 and 2014, resulted in the leaking of user passwords and personal information, including mailing addresses and full names. At least one has been blamed on a state-sponsored group.

Following the security breach disclosures, Verizon executives suggested they would be stepping back from the acquisition and lowering their offer or even walking away entirely from a deal for the one-time top search engine, based on the assumption that the breaches caused significant damage to Yahoo!'s overall worth going forward.

Yahoo! meanwhile has maintained that it believes the sale will still be completed and is working to finalize it.

Tim Armstrong, whose Aol group would be merged with Yahoo! under the banner of Verizon's content network, said in a recent interview with CNBC that he was "hopeful" that the deal will still happen.

"I remain hopeful the deal will close and I think we'll see what the outcomes are of the Yahoo investigations in the meantime," Armstrong said.

Investors, meanwhile, don't seem particularly worried. Yahoo! shares were up slightly Thursday, closing at $41.34. ®

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