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Why Marissa Mayer Could Cost Verizon Hundreds of Millions

  • Telco giant in talks with Mozilla over distribution payments
  • 2014 pact let Mozilla walk, and get paid, if Yahoo was bought
The silhouettes of attendees are seen before the start of the Yahoo! Inc. Mobile Developer Conference in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. 

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Verizon Communications Inc. paid $4.5 billion for Yahoo! Inc.’s web businesses. Then it took a $500 million hit for post-acquisition costs. It’s poised to pay up again, thanks to a high-profile deal struck by Marissa Mayer when she ran the internet company.

Executives at the telecom giant are negotiating a bill they will likely owe Mozilla Corp., owner of the Firefox browser, after an expensive web search deal fell apart. Verizon could end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on how the agreement is interpreted, according to people familiar with the deal and online chat logs shared with Bloomberg. The bill could also come in lower, the people said.