Altaba settles Yahoo class action suits to the tune of £35.8 million

News by Doug Olenick

Altaba, the company created in the wake of Verizon's purchase of Yahoo, reported in an SEC filing it has reached an agreement to settle three class action suits stemming from massive data breaches for US$ 47 million (£35.8 million).

Altaba, the company created in the wake of Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo, reported in an SEC filing it has reached an agreement to settle three class action suits stemming from massive data breaches for US$ 47 million (£35.8 million).

"We are… pleased to announce today that we have reached an agreement in principle (subject to court approval) to settle the consumer class action litigation related to the Yahoo data breach. We have also received final court approval of the securities class action settlement, and we have negotiated an agreement to settle the shareholder derivative litigation (subject to court approval). We estimate that the Company will incur an incremental net US$ 47 million (£35.8 million) in litigation settlement expenses to resolve all three cases," the company said in the SEC filing.

The multimillion-dollar settlement will likely result in a miniscule amount to be paid to the plaintiffs, noted Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of High-Tech Bridge.

"Class actions are known to provide their members with very modest compensation compared to individual lawsuits. The settlement (subject to approval by court) makes slightly above US$ 10 (£7.60) per breached account – a scanty amount in the GDPR era. Should a similar data breach happen today with the same disclosure timeline and similar circumstances, the amount of settlement could be significantly higher. Therefore, I think this is a considerable legal victory for Yahoo’s legal team," he told SC Media.

Altaba further stated this agreement marks a "milestone" in its efforts to clean up its contingent liabilities related to Yahoo’s data breaches.

In 2016 Yahoo made two separate revelations detailing data breaches that had taken place several years earlier. In September it reported on a 2014 breach that exposed about 500 million accounts and in December 2016 the company said 1 billion accounts had been compromised in a 2013 breach. And after further research into the breaches, the total number of affected accounts tallied 3 billion.

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