Yahoo Company Profile (Archived Report)

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Archived Report:
Company Profile

by James G. Barr


Docid: 00018157

Publication Date: 1709

Report Type: VENDOR


On June 13, 2017, Verizon Communications completed its acquisition of the
operating business of Yahoo! Inc. Verizon has
combined these assets with its existing AOL business to create a new subsidiary,
Oath, which houses more than 50 media and technology brands and engages more
than one billion people around the world.

The Oath portfolio includes HuffPost, Yahoo Sports,, MAKERS, Tumblr, BUILD
Studios, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Mail, and more.

This archived report, offered for historical purposes, reflects the condition
of Yahoo! Inc. prior to its merger with Verizon.

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Name: Yahoo Inc
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089 US
Tel: (408) 349-3300
Fax: (408) 349-3301
Type of Vendor: Internet Portal, search engine, online commerce
Founded: 1995
Service areas: Global
Stock Symbol: YHOO (NASDAQ)


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Founded in 1994 by Stanford Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang, Yahoo
began as a hobby and has evolved into one of the most recognizable Internet
brands in the world and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations

While most of the company’s
services are available to end-users free of charge, the company’s greatest
revenue source is its sale of online display advertising and sponsored search
results. Recognized content publishers such as eBay, WebMD, and are
all members of its affiliate network and
provide Web sites and search engines of interest to Yahoo’s user base, with space
for advertisers.

Listings revenue is gathered from consumer and business
listings-based services, classifieds such as
Yahoo Autos, Yahoo Real Estate, and other services. Transaction revenue is generated from
facilitating commercial transactions through Yahoo Properties, principally from
Travel and Yahoo Shopping. In addition, the firm gains fees revenue which
is generated from a variety of
consumer and business fee-based services, including Internet broadband services, premium mail,
music, and personals offerings, as well as services for small businesses.

On July 29, 2009, Yahoo and Microsoft signed a deal to partner for search
and advertising. It marks a major milestone in the history of Yahoo and
the Internet, as a once major search provider has effectively succumbed to Google, relinquishing its search operations to Microsoft’s new Bing search technology.

While possessing a large online presence, behind firms like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook,
Yahoo has fallen on proverbial hard times. With a
limited exposure to social media, strong competition from Google and Facebook,
an ambiguous Web 2.0 strategy, and declining display advertising revenue, in
September 2011, Yahoo abruptly fired its embattled CEO, Carol Bartz, leaving the company
"rudderless" in the view of some analysts.

Scott Thompson, the former president of PayPal, was hired to succeed Ms. Bartz
but his tenure was short lived owing to discrepancies on his resume.

In July 2012, Yahoo hired Marissa Mayer, the company’s seventh chief executive
in five years. Prior to Yahoo, Ms. Mayer was
Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services at Google where she oversaw
product management, engineering, design, and strategy for the company’s suite of
local and geographical products, including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat,
Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile.

Unable to effect a much-anticipated turnaround, in July 2016, Ms. Mayer
announced the sale of Yahoo’s core operating business to Verizon for $4.8
billion in cash. The sale does not include Yahoo’s cash, its shares in Alibaba
Group Holdings, its shares in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo’s convertible notes, certain
minority investments, and Yahoo’s non-core patents (called the Excalibur

While Yahoo intends to become a publicly traded investment company once the
Verizon transaction is finalized, the Yahoo-Verizon pact may be threatened
by recent revelations that, in 2014, hackers breached at least 500 million Yahoo
user accounts in what amounts to the largest ever hack of a single company.

Although Verizon has not commented on whether the stolen data will influence its
acquisition plans,1 there is speculation that the wireless giant
could attempt to terminate the arrangement; or, more likely, renegotiate the sale price.

In either case, both entities, Yahoo and Verizon, may suffer reputational
damage: Yahoo, owing to its apparent poor security, and Verizon, owing to its
failure to properly assess Yahoo security, especially since Yahoo suffered
another large-scale hack in 2012.2

History & Milestone Events

Yahoo was started by David Filo and Jerry Yang, Ph.D. candidates in electrical
engineering at Stanford University, as a way to keep track of their personal
interests on the Internet. The list was originally posted on the Web as "Jerry and David’s Guide to the World
Wide Web." The list attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors by the end of that year. Filo
and Yang realized they had a potential business on their hands and incorporated
Yahoo in 1995. The next year, the company went public. Some of the significant highlights in the company’s
history are listed in the brief timeline below.

  • 1994 – Yahoo created by Stanford University students David Filo and Jerry Yang.

  • 1995 – Yahoo receives its initial investment and hires experienced business managers,
    led by Tim Koogle, who becomes CEO.

  • 1996 – Yahoo launches its initial public offering of stock, opening its first day at
    $13.00 USD per share and closing the day at $33.00 per share. The company teams with Softbank and
    its affiliates to form Yahoo Japan and Yahoo Europe.

  • 1997 – Yahoo created Netscape Guide by Yahoo for Netscape, launched
    Yahoo Korea, and
    purchased Four11. Yahoo launched a three-for-two common stock split.

  • 1998 – Yahoo went on an acquisition spree, purchasing ViaWeb, WebCal, and
    Yoyodyne. Yahoo also tried to match AOL’s all-in-one service by developing a
    Yahoo Online service. A
    two-for-one stock split on common Yahoo stock was enacted.

  • 1999 – Yahoo launched its Yahoo Radio broadcast Internet radio service. It also
    teamed with TIBCO to develop Corporate My Yahoo, a business intranet offering. The year’s big acquisitions
    included GeoCities for $7 billion USD and for $5 billion; its purchase of software
    maker Encompass should also not be overlooked. Introduced its third stock split, a two-for-one
    split on its common stock.

  • 2000 – Yahoo discovered B2B, with the launch of its Yahoo B2B Marketplace; the
    company also signed deals with Inktomi, Critical Path, and TIBCO aimed at creating enterprise
    information portals. Acquisitions included a stake in Internet phone services firm Net2Phone; all
    of email company eGroups for $430 million; and Taiwanese portal Kimo for $146 million.
    Yahoo switched search engine providers this year, trading Inktomi for Google. Also that year,
    Yahoo and SBC Communications teamed to establish a co-branded dial-up Internet service, called SBC
    Yahoo Dial, as well as a high-speed broadband Internet service, called SBC
    Yahoo DSL. Google
    launched a two-for-one stock split.

  • 2001 – Yahoo banned hate material on its auction Web sites in the wake of a November
    2000 French court ruling. With the advertising market softening, Yahoo began hunting for new
    sources of revenue. Its search included charging listing fees to its auction sites; becoming an
    affiliate of subscription music service Pressplay; and winning an unsolicited $436 million
    takeover bid for Yahoo also purchased Launch Media this year.

  • 2002 – Continuing its attempts to diversify its revenue sources, Yahoo launched a
    fee-based document search service provided by Divine. Also that year, Yahoo and SBC
    Communications rolled-out their national co-branded dial-up Internet service as well as their
    high-speed broadband DSL service through SBC Yahoo. The company also bought Internet search
    engine company Inktomi, enabling it to compete in the lucrative search market as a competitor to
    runaway market leader, Google. Terry Semel was named Yahoo’s CEO and chairman of its Board.

  • 2003 – Yahoo completed the acquisition of Overture, a Web search engine, which
    licenses its search capabilities to enterprises for use on their own Web sites.

  • 2004 – The company settled a pair of patent- and public trading-related litigations
    with Google. Yahoo also launched a two-for-one stock split.

  • 2005 – Yahoo signed, then extended, an agreement with Verizon Communications,
    establishing a multi-year alliance to deliver a fully integrated, co-branded broadband offering
    to subscribers of Verizon Online’s DSL and fiber-based FiOS services. The company also acquired
    Pixora and Flickr.

  • 2006 – Yahoo launched a major reorganization of its structure and management.
    Yahoo also technology assets from Meedio, Bix, and AdInterax, as well as a ten percent stake in Gmarket.
    Finally, the firm launched Yahoo Go Mobile, a service that offers the company’s email, messaging,
    address book, and search capabilities to mobile phone users.

  • 2007 – Yahoo launched its oneSearch Internet search service for mobile phones, as well
    as its Panama search marketing platform. Yahoo named co-founder Jerry Yang as its CEO.
    Former CEO Terry Semel remained with the company as Yahoo’s non-executive Chairman of the Board. The company also
    continued with its restructuring by combining its search and display advertising sales teams.
    Finally, Yahoo made a set of purchases, including paying $350 million for Zimbra, which makes an
    Ajax-based email client; online ad network BlueLithium for about $300 million; the remaining 80
    percent share in Right Media it did not previously own for about $650 million; college and high
    school sports and recruiting Web site; social networking hub MyBlogLog; and online news

  • 2008 – Yahoo received an unsolicited offer to be acquired by Microsoft for $44.6
    billion. The Yahoo Board of Directors rejected the offer, saying it undervalued the company.
    Yahoo and Google announced plans to enter into a non-exclusive agreement where
    Google would enable Yahoo to run ads supplied by Google alongside Yahoo’s
    search results and on some of its web properties in the United States and
    Canada. Critics of the agreement including the Association of National
    Advertisers and Microsoft feel that such an agreement would reduce
    competition. The US Department of Justice hired an outside antitrust
    specialist to review the agreement.

  • 2009 – Yahoo and Microsoft signed a deal to partner for search and advertising. It marks a
    major milestone in the history of Yahoo, and the Internet, as a once major
    search destination has given up versus Google and is turning over its search operations to Microsoft’s new Bing search

  • 2011 – Yahoo fires CEO Carol Bartz after just two years in

  • 2012 – Yahoo hires Marissa Mayer, formerly of Google, as its

  • 2016 – Yahoo announces the sale of its core operating business to Verizon for $4.8
    billion in cash.


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Once the "King of the Internet," Yahoo has been struggling in recent years to
retain its relevance in an online universe dominated by such formidable foes as
Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

That struggle reached an abrupt end in July 2016 when the company announced
its intention to sell its core operating business to Verizon for $4.8 billion in

The sale, which does not signal the end of Yahoo, does not include:

  • Yahoo’s cash
  • its shares in Alibaba Group Holdings
  • its shares in Yahoo Japan
  • Yahoo’s convertible notes
  • certain minority investments
  • Yahoo’s non-core patents (called the Excalibur portfolio)

Once the Verizon transaction is finalized (expected in early
2017), Yahoo intends to become a publicly traded investment company.

Reflecting on the Verizon deal and Yahoo’s still considerable assets,
Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer observed that:

"Yahoo is a company that has changed
the world, and will continue to do so through this combination with
Verizon and AOL. The sale of our operating business, which
effectively separates our Asian asset equity stakes, is an important
step in our plan to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo. This
transaction also sets up a great opportunity for Yahoo to build
further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video,
native advertising and social.

"Yahoo and AOL popularized the
Internet, email, search and real-time media. It’s poetic to be joining
forces with AOL and Verizon as we enter our next chapter focused on achieving
scale on mobile. We have a terrific, loyal, experienced and quality team,
and I couldn’t be prouder of our achievements to date, including building our
new lines of business to $1.6 billion in GAAP
revenue in 2015. I’m excited to extend our momentum through this


Yahoo’s core operating business informs a
global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users – including 600 million monthly active mobile users
– through its search,
communications, and digital content products.

While Yahoo could no longer find success as a standalone
entity, the combination of Yahoo, AOL (another property Verizon purchased for
$4.4 billion), and Verizon’s wireless network could prove a winning combination. According to Brian Solomon of Forbes, "The
United States’ largest wireless provider is betting nearly $10 billion that
combining the two formerly dominant websites will give it an edge in mobile
content and advertising technology it can leverage across its more than 140
million subscribers."3

Confirming Solomon’s analysis,
Verizon Chairman and
CEO Lowell McAdam said, "Just over a year ago we acquired AOL
to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for
consumers, creators and advertisers. The acquisition of Yahoo will
put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile
media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong added, "Our mission at AOL is to build
brands people love, and we will continue to invest in and grow them. Yahoo has been a long-time investor in premium content and created
some of the most beloved consumer brands in key categories like
sports, news and finance. We have enormous respect for what
Yahoo has accomplished: this transaction is about unleashing Yahoo’s full
potential, building upon our collective synergies, and strengthening and
accelerating that growth. Combining Verizon, AOL and Yahoo will create a
new powerful competitive rival in mobile media, and an open, scaled alternative
offering for advertisers and publishers."

Despite the advantages of a Yahoo-Verizon union, the deal may be delayed or
even revoked owing to recent revelations that, in 2014, hackers breached at least 500 million Yahoo
user accounts, in what amounts to the largest ever hack of a single company.

Although Verizon has not commented on whether the stolen data will influence its
acquisition plans,4 there is speculation that the wireless giant
could attempt to terminate the arrangement; or, more likely, renegotiate the sale price.

If undeterred by the hack, Yahoo and Verizon will certainly cooperate during the
transition period (expected to last till at least early 2017) to enhance security.

Industry analysts will be eager to observe Yahoo and Verizon over the coming
months to determine whether business and government leaders, as well as the
general public, have begun to accept large-scale hacks as the inevitable
consequence of conducting e-commerce. If so, the Yahoo hack will be treated as a
minor blip in the process of finalizing the Yahoo-Verizon transaction, and
Verizon’s optimism about the Yahoo-AOL pairing will probably be justified.

Product Lines

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Yahoo offers a variety of core products and services, as described in Table

Table 1. Yahoo Core Products and Services

Core Products and Services

Major Competitors
User Offerings

Yahoo Search serves as a starting point to navigate the Internet and discover information that matters to users, offering rich search results ranked and organized based on their relevance to the query.

Yahoo Mail connects users to the people and things that are most important to them across mobile phones, tablets and desktop.

Yahoo Messenger is an instant messaging service that provides an interactive and personalized way for users to connect, communicate and share experiences on a real-time basis.

Yahoo News provides original, premium, partner, and syndicated news via text, photos, and video to engage users with wide-ranging, up-to-the-minute coverage and analysis into topical news events.

Yahoo Sports serves one of the largest audiences of digital sports enthusiasts in the world. Yahoo Sports is anchored by Fantasy Sports, editorial reporting, real-time scores, statistics and breaking news, coverage of the biggest global sports events, and premium college sports coverage through our Rivals publisher network.

Yahoo Finance provides a comprehensive set of financial data, information, and tools that help users make informed financial decisions.

Yahoo Lifestyle is a collection of properties focused on emerging trends and information in popular culture, women’s issues, and media.

Tumblr offers a web service and mobile applications (particularly on the iOS and Android platforms) that allow users to create and share content of all kinds
– including images, video, audio, and text, and to follow their interests and passions in the Tumblr Dashboard stream.

AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft
Advertiser Yahoo offers advertisers targeted solutions,
such as interest-based and search retargeting, for optimized program

Yahoo works with
publishers to attract audiences, create engaging experiences, learn insightful
information about the publishers’ audiences, and monetize the experiences
rendered with a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and other

Yahoo Gemini

is Yahoo’s proprietary
marketplace for search and native
advertising across devices. Yahoo Gemini
helps marketers achieve measurable results
with intent-driven advertising.


is Yahoo’s unified brand for
programmatic advertising technology,
offering a suite of media-agnostic tools to
help advertisers, publishers, and partners
connect with users across ad formats and
devices. BrightRoll Demand Side Platform
(“BrightRoll DSP”)
is technology that
enables brand and performance advertisers to
plan, execute, optimize, and measure
programmatic digital advertising campaigns.

Amazon, AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft
Developer Yahoo provides several software and open
platform offerings for third-party developers, advertisers, agencies, publishers
and designers.
Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft

Major Competitors


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Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures

Verizon Communications and
Yahoo have finally confirmed
the swirling rumors that a pair of high-profile security breaches
at the Web-centric company would result in a reduced purchase
price for its acquisition by Verizon. The likelihood of a reduced
purchase price arose after its was revealed that Yahoo had been
the victim of two major breaches in 2013 and 2014, respectively,
that affected over 1.5 billion user accounts. These incursions
were not confirmed by the company until it was already in the
process of being acquired by Verizon in 2016. After months of
speculation, the duo released a joint statement announcing that
the agreed upon $4.83 billion purchase price would be reduced by
$350 million. These funds will presumably help insulate Verizon
against loss now that it has agreed to pay 50 percent of any
penalties associated with governmental and third-party lawsuit
judgments resulting from the hacks. For its part, Yahoo itself
has agreed to foot the bill for any lawsuits filed by
shareholders, as well as any costs resulting from the ongoing SEC
investigation into the incidents. The transaction is now on track
to close some time during the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal


Verizon Communications has
gone on record as saying that it has a
“reasonable basis” to believe that Yahoo‘s value might have been
tarnished by the recent news of its e-mail data breach, and noted
that it is now considering a withdrawal of its $4.83 billion
offer to buy the company. According to Reuters, Verizon general
counsel Craig Silliman said that the issue may have triggered a
clause in their deal to allow it to walk away. “We have a
reasonable basis to believe right now that the impact is
material,” Silliman noted, “and we’re looking to Yahoo to
demonstrate to us the full impact.” Yahoo was hit hard twice in
recent weeks, both upon the revelation that a 2014 hack resulted
in the stealing of 500 million Yahoo account usernames and
passwords, as well as the news that it launched an e-mail
scanning system to search for potential terrorist signatures at
the behest of what the New
York Post
called a “secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Court” order. A Yahoo spokesperson, meanwhile, commented to
Reuters that “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue
to work towards integration with Verizon.”


Verizon Communications is
believed to have requested a $1 billion
“discount” off of its $4.28 billion acquisition price for Yahoo. Citing “several
sources,” The New York
claims that the requested change is the result of the
news that 500 million Yahoo accounts’ usernames and passwords
were hacked in 2014, as well as the recent revelation that the
company instituted an e-mail scanning system to search for
potential terrorist signatures at the behest of a “secret Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court.” One source – who the Post noted
is “familiar with Verizon’s thinking” – told the news outlet
specifically that “[AOL boss] Tim [Armstrong] is getting cold
feet. He’s pretty upset about the lack of disclosure and he’s
saying, `Can we get out of this or can we reduce the price’?”.
Representatives for both Verizon and Yahoo declined to comment
on the story. Verizon’s planned acquisition of Yahoo was
originally announced in July 2016.


Products and Services

Yahoo added a new Yahoo
Sports Headlines feature for its Sports app for iOS and Android.
This visual navigation tool provides “quick, high quality videos”
in an “easy to view portrait format.” The app update containing
this new element is now available via the Apple App Store and
Google Play.


Yahoo introduced a new feature
to its Yahoo Mail e-mail app for iOS and Android that lets users
sync it with Gmail, Outlook, or AOL e-mail addresses. This
function is accessible from the welcome screen, and is part of an
app update that also includes more relevant search results,
“people-only” e-mail notifications; customizable swipes; more
comprehensive Contact cards; personalized themes and stationary;
and an Account Key function for password-free login. The updated
Yahoo Mail app is now available via the Apple App Store and
Google Play.


Yahoo added “Captain” for Facebook Messenger. This
bot will allow users to interact with others by helping
streamline organization and manage activities with a shared tasks


Yahoo updated its Mail app for
iOS and Android with a new “Top Search Results” feature. This
function allows users to search their e-mails using a keyword,
and highlights the most relevant messages, ordered by date. This
app update is now available for download via the Apple App Store
and Google Play.


Yahoo added a new Similarity
Search function to Flickr. This feature was created to help more
easily search and discover images via an advanced technology that
uncovers “visually similar photos.” The feature is accessible by
hovering over an image and clicking the “…” menu.


Yahoo introduced its new
“Captain” bot assistant in the US. The Captain is designed to
help manage lists and provide automated reminders via text. In
particular, it streamlines and shares items and communications;
sets reminders; and updates various lists. Mobile users can text
“Hi” to 773-786 to receive setup instructions.


Yahoo updated its Answers
Now app for iOS and Android, which provides access to the Yahoo
Q&A Community. New features include support for sharing via
social media and other mobile apps; a “Question of the Day”
function; customizable notification controls; notification stream
icons for tracking answers; support for private profiles and
updated profile stats; and a new Announcements feature for
learning about future updates. The Yahoo Answers Now app update
is now available via the Apple App Store and Google Play.


About 32 million accounts were
pilfered in the Yahoo cookie
forging event, the company disclosed in its annual report to the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC). “The outside forensic
experts have identified approximately 32 million user accounts
for which they believe forged cookies were used or taken in 2015
and 2016,” the annual report stated. It is widely believed that
the entity who accessed Yahoo’s proprietary code and used it to
forge cookies was also responsible for the company’s 2014 data
breach. Yahoo also admitted in the filing that company executives
were aware of both the breach and the cookie forging when these
incidents occurred, but didn’t explain why they kept the
information private. “While significant additional security
measures were implemented in response to those incidents, it
appears certain senior executives did not properly comprehend or
investigate, and therefore failed to act sufficiently upon, the
full extent of knowledge known internally by the Company’s
information security team,” the report stated.


Yahoo added new Caller ID and
photo upload functions to its Yahoo Mail app. In particular, the
Caller ID feature – which is available exclusively for iOS – uses
the contact information from one’s e-mail account to note a
user’s identity, even if the caller’s number is not stored on the
device itself. The photo upload function, meanwhile, ensures that
one’s camera roll images are synced to be automatically available
from the desktop-based version of Yahoo Mail. This particular
element is available for the newest version of the iOS and
Android app, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or
Google Play.


Yahoo released its
TensorFlowOnSpark open-source framework for distributed deep
learning on Big Data clusters. The TensorFlowOnSpark framework
allows for distributed TensorFlow execution on Spark and Hadoop
clusters, and supports both asynchronous and synchronous
training and inferencing. It is now available on GitHub.


Yahoo announced an
open-source version of Screwdriver, its continuous delivery-build
system for dynamic infrastructure. This software is designed to
help more quickly adapt to user needs by reducing friction
associated with software changes. Key features include support
for streamlining deployment pipelines, optimizing for trunk
development, and streamlining the rollback process.’s architecture includes four main components: a
front-end for serving content to the user; a stateless API that
orchestrates between user interactions and build operations;
execution engines that check out source code and execute in
containers; and the launcher that executes and monitors
commands inside the container.


Yahoo introduced its new
Yahoo Answers Now app. This offering, which is available for iOS
and Android devices, is designed to provide access to the Yahoo
community at large. The app allows a user to pose a question and
gain answers “quickly from members who have relevant
experiences and expertise.” The Yahoo Answers Now app is
available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.


Yahoo added new bots to its
Kik app for iOS and Android. These bots include Popchat, a bot
for playing and sharing trivia; as well as Monkeypet, which can
report on weather and news from around the world, search the Web
for content, and retrieve images or videos. Monkeypet is also
available for Yahoo Messenger. The bots are now available via the
Apple App Store and Google Play.


A quarterly report to the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC)
shows that Yahoo was
aware of a data breach in late 2014 although the company didn’t
go public with this information until nearly two years later in
September 2016. Yahoo said in its quarterly filing, “The company
had identified that a state-sponsored actor had access to the
company’s network in late 2014.” It is unclear why it took so
long for Yahoo to come forward with this information.


Yahoo added new features to
its account-management settings for helping manage account activity and
logged-in devices. The changes include support for remotely
removing apps in the event one’s device is lost or stolen; as
well as extended support for invalidating OAuth tokens through
the Member Center.


Yahoo introduced Yahoo
Newsroom, an iOS and Android app for more easily discovering
tailored content and participating in conversations with other
users. Yahoo Newsroom features a customizable newsfeed based
on certain search topics – or “Vibes” – that can be followed,
including sports, celebrity news and gossip, and politics, among
others. The service also looks at the user’s activity to deliver
more targeted content over time. The Yahoo Newsroom app is now
available as a download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.


A state-sponsored threat entity is
being blamed for a large-scale breach that compromised 500
million Yahoo user
accounts, the company revealed in a statement on September 22. The incident occurred
in 2014 and affects personal data, but not payment cards or bank
account information. It is not yet clear why it took so long for
Yahoo to announce details regarding the breach or which entity is
responsible for the incident. However, a hacker who goes by the
moniker “Peace” attempted to sell more than 200 million Yahoo
credentials in the cybercriminal underground and claimed that the
data had come from a hack in 2014. After investigators got
involved, they realized the breach had gone undetected for 18
months. It is not yet known how the breach will affect the
proposed merger between Verizon and Yahoo.
Verizon’s press office stated, “We understand that Yahoo is
conducting an active investigation of this matter, but otherwise
have limited information and understanding of the overall


Yahoo introduced its Yahoo
View app for iPhone. This app offers free streaming access to
select Hulu content, including “popular clips in comedy, sports,
late night, celebrity and news.” Full access to some content,
Yahoo noted, is available via the service’s Web-based version.
The Yahoo View app is now available in the US via the Apple App


Yahoo updated its Yahoo
Messenger app for iOS and Android by adding extended support for
sharing videos. Users can share one minute or less clips, whether
in a one-on-one or group conversation, the same as attaching an
image. This new feature is part of the newest app update, which
is now available for the Apple App Store and Google Play.


Alliances and Joint Ventures

Oath – the digital media
company that comprises media and technology brands such as
Yahoo, AOL, and other Verizon
properties – announced a digital media
partnership with Slipstream. This agreement will see the creation
of an Oath brand of team racing kits and vehicles for the 2018
professional cycling season, in addition to providing various
online resources via the Oath platform.


Yahoo signed a series of
content-distribution partnerships worldwide. These agreements
include deals with The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent,
Evening Standard, and Hearst UK, and will allow the publishers to
distribute content via a curated feed that is created in
partnership with Yahoo in the US, Canada, the UK, India, and


Personnel and Organizational

Yahoo has confirmed that it will
be renamed “Altaba” should its “core assets” be acquired by Verizon Communications for
$4.8 billion, as was announced in 2016. Yahoo announced, according
to CNBC, that this new
company will comprise any remaining stake that it held in Alibaba
and “other ancillary holdings” not slated to be purchased. Also
per CNBC, the new company will be chaired by Eric Brandt, who
will be joined by five other current Yahoo board members; CEO
Marissa Mayer is expected to join Verizon.


Yahoo announced in a press release that it has
identified pressing data security issues for certain user
accounts and is working closely with law enforcement to take
steps to secure those accounts in the future. In particular, the
company noted that it has notified all potentially affected users
and has taken steps to secure their accounts such as requiring
password changes, invalidating unencrypted security questions and
answers, invalidated forged cookies, and “hardened [its] systems
to secure them against similar attacks.” Yahoo also noted that it
will continue to “continuously enhance our safeguards and systems
that detect and prevent unauthorized access to user accounts.”
Further information – including the actions that users can take
for themselves – is available via the press release.


Yahoo issued a statement regarding last
week’s publicized user security hack, which it noted is believed
to have come from a “state-sponsored actor.” The information
stolen from Yahoo’s network in late 2014 is believed to include
names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth,
hashed passwords, and both encrypted and unencrypted security
questions and answers. “The ongoing investigation suggests that
stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment
card data, or bank account information,” noted Yahoo, as “payment
card data and bank account information are not stored in the
system that the investigation has found to be affected.” Yahoo
estimates that at least 500 million user accounts were affected,
and is working with law enforcement.



Yahoo reported 19%
year-to-year growth in its revenues for the 2017 first quarter.
Sales for this three-month period ended March 31st were $1.3
billion, compared to 2016 first quarter revenues of $1.09
billion. In particular, Search revenue increased 74% year to year
to $745 million; Mavens revenue was up 36% to $529 million;
Display sales fell 2% to $456 million; and Mobile revenue grew
58% to 412 million. Yahoo’s profits, meanwhile, climbed to $99
million, or $0.10 per share, compared to 2016 first quarter net
losses of $99 million, or $0.10 loss per share.


Yahoo revealed that it
rebounded from year-ago net losses to post profits for the 2016
fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016. The company’s earnings
totaled $162 million, or $0.17 per share, compared to 2015 fourth
quarter losses of $4.44 billion, or $4.70 per share. Revenues,
meanwhile, were $1.47 billion, which was up 16% from 2015 fourth
quarter sales of $1.27 billion. For the full year, Yahoo posted
net losses of $214 million, or $0.23 per share. This amount
marked a 95% improvement over 2015 losses of $4.36 billion, or
$4.64 per share. Revenues were $5.17 billion, which was up 4%
from 2015 sales of $4.97 billion.


Yahoo reported a 114%
increase in profits, year to year, for the 2016 third quarter
ended September 30, 2016. The company’s earnings totaled $163
million, or $0.17 per share, compared to a 2015 third quarter net
income of $76 million, or $0.08 per share. Revenues, meanwhile,
were $1.3 billion, which was up 6% from 2015 third quarter sales
of $1.23 billion. By business segment, Search revenue increased
36% year to year to $703 million; Display revenue was down 7% to
$476 million; and “Other” revenue fell 36% to $126 million.


Legal News

Yahoo issued a statement on
the US Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment of four
individuals related to the theft of Yahoo user data in 2014 and
cookie forging to obtain account access in 2015 and 2016. This
indictment, Yahoo noted, came against “two Russian intelligence
officers and two state-sponsored hackers.” The company said in a
statement that it was “deeply grateful to the FBI for
investigating these crimes and the DOJ for bringing charges
against those responsible.”



Yahoo revealed that it sent a
letter to the US
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in which it
formally urged the federal government to provide citizens with
what it called “clarification around national security orders
they issue to internet companies to obtain user data.” This
letter – which the company noted makes “specific reference” to
the recent allegations against Yahoo – was drafted to “set a
stronger precedent of transparency” for citizens affected by US
government agencies’ requests for data.


Yahoo revealed that it sent a
letter to the US
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in which it
formally urged the federal government to provide citizens with
what it called “clarification around national security orders
they issue to internet companies to obtain user data.” This
letter – which the company noted makes “specific reference” to
the recent allegations against Yahoo – was drafted to “set a
stronger precedent of transparency” for citizens affected by US
government agencies’ requests for data.



1 David Gelles. "What the Hacking at Yahoo Means for Verizon."
The New York Times. September 23, 2016.

2 Ibid.

3 Brian Solomon. "Yahoo Sells To Verizon In Saddest
$5 Billion Deal In Tech History." Forbes. July 25, 2016.

4 David Gelles. "What the Hacking at Yahoo Means for Verizon."
The New York Times. September 23, 2016.

About the Author

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James G. Barr is a leading business continuity analyst
and business writer with more than 30 years’ IT experience. A member of
"Who’s Who in Finance and Industry," Mr. Barr has designed,
developed, and deployed business continuity plans for a number of Fortune 500
firms. He is the author of several books, including How to Succeed in
Business BY Really Trying
, a member of Faulkner’s Advisory Panel, and a
senior editor for Faulkner’s Security Management Practices. Mr.
Barr can be reached via e-mail at

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