Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has dismissed reports regarding his company seeking to lower the price of Yahoo following the disclosure of the massive 2014 data breach, wherein 500 million user accounts were stolen. Citing several sources, the New York Post had reported last week that Verizon was pushing for a $1bn (£800m) discount on its pending $4.8bn takeover agreement with Yahoo.
When asked about the NY Post report at the Virtuous Circle 2016 tech conference in Menlo Park, California, McAdam called the report "total speculation", and said that he did not even bother to read the article.
"That's total speculation," McAdam said, Business Insider reported. "We still see a real value in the asset. From what I understand, they actually got one thing right and that was the closing price of our stock."
However, he added: "In fairness, we are still understanding what was going on and defining whether it was a material impact on the business or not."
McAdam also revealed that he was not shocked by the much-discussed hack that compromised sensitive user information including names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and encrypted passwords of "at least" 500 million user accounts in late 2014.
"We all live in an internet world. It's not a question of if you're going to get hacked but when you are going to get hacked," McAdam said.
The chief executive said that while the company continues to emphasize and boost its cybersecurity measures to prevent such incidents, cyberattacks and threat actors have become so sophisticated that "occasionally they're going to land a punch".
"The industrial logic to doing this merger still makes a ton of sense," he said. "I have spent a lot of time over the past weeks with folks from Yahoo and I am very impressed by their capability."
He noted that it was important to "understand the real facts" surrounding the breach and that the investigation into the breach was a little more than halfway complete. "We are looking at this in great detail, that is about all you can say until you finish the investigation."
Several Democratic senators criticised Yahoo last month and said that it was "unacceptable" that the company only recently disclosed the unprecedented data breach. While Yahoo said that a "state-sponsored actor" orchestrated the cyberattack, experts have been skeptical about the claim.
Earlier this month, former chief executive of Yahoo Ross Levinsohn said that it was "likely" that the web giant knew about the breach before the deal with Verizon was inked in July.
Meanwhile, McAdam says that while the telecom giant is looking to close the deal soon, the schedule is currently in the hands of regulators. He added that if it were in Verizon's hands, they would get it done "sometime between December and February."
"Our view is we want to get this behind us as quick as we can and move on," he said.