“I think it is very likely that Verizon is on firm ground in looking for a price adjustment,” said Jack Gold, an analyst at J.Gold Associates.
“I’m not sure how much the Yahoo brand has been damaged, but it has been damaged and is worth less than before the breach,” he added. “No doubt it is less than when they negotiated originally.”
It’s significant that Verizon would assume any potential legal liabilities as a result of the breach that could last for years, Gold said.
However, one lawyer said Verizon shouldn't receive a reduced price for Yahoo because Yahoo was the victim of a crime in the massive hack. "The bad guys are the hackers," said Michael Pennington, an attorney at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, in an email.
"The federal government has been hacked, too," said Penninggton, who specializes in class-action suits and complex commercial litigation. "Should the government lower taxes just because it has been hacked? Of course not."
When the Yahoo breach was first made public, Pennington said that "the mere fact of a breach does not mean Yahoo, itself the victim of a criminal act by others, should now be exposed to class action liability as a result, particularly from class actions brought on behalf of those who cannot demonstrate real harm resulting from this specific breach."
He added: "The truth is that no one should have an honest expectation that any online service they use today is absolutely immune from the possibility of state-sponsored and other sophisticated hacking attacks."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.