Yahoo Japan, the last enclave of GeoCities, is scrapping the beloved website-hosting service. In March 2019 -- 22 years after its original launch -- GeoCities will be extinct, according to Quartz. Yahoo, which bought the platform in 1999 for $3.57 billion in stock, announced the closure on its Japanese website, citing profitability and technological issues. As a result, Yahoo "regrets" that all the GeoCities content -- compartmentalized into "neighborhoods", as is the norm -- will be wiped from the web along with it. That means you've only got a few months left to relive GeoCities' lurid, DIY aesthetic before it vanishes into the ether.
Altaba Inc., the holding company formed from the overseas investments not purchased by Verizon Communications Inc. in its acquisition of Yahoo Inc., will raise about $4.34 billion by selling its entire stake in Yahoo Japan Corp. The company increased the size of the deal to include its entire holdings of 1.36 billion shares after initially saying it planned to sell about 750 million shares to raise about $2.5 billion, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg. Altaba is offering shares of Yahoo Japan at ¥354 each, representing a discount of 4.6 percent from the stock's last close, the company said Monday in a statement. Altaba is Yahoo Japan's second-largest shareholder, holding a 23.9 percent stake, trailing only SoftBank Group Corp., data compiled by Bloomberg show. It is Altaba's second major sale of the Japanese company's shares this year.
Yahoo Japan Corp. said Friday no customer information was leaked from the company and no damage has been confirmed after hackers stole sensitive information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts. The startling breach, disclosed Thursday, is believed to be the largest to hit a single email provider. Stolen information may have included names, email address, birth dates and encrypted passwords, along with encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers that could help hackers break into victims' other online accounts. According to Yahoo Japan, the firm offers its own service by borrowing the brand name from Yahoo in the United States, and its database and other infrastructure are separate from the U.S. firm. "We have personnel and technological exchanges" with Yahoo in the U.S., but the services provided in Japan and the U.S. "are different services run by different companies," a Yahoo Japan official said.
Yahoo Japan Corp. is blunting the impact of a large stock sale by a big shareholder, buying back about ¥221 billion ($2 billion) worth of its shares in a complicated deal with SoftBank Group Corp. The deal was triggered by Altaba Inc., which warned in February that it would start divesting its 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, fueling a selloff of the web portal as investors braced for the prospect of more shares hitting the market. Altaba was created last year when Yahoo Inc. was sold, so that its lucrative stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. could be carved out. The plan, announced by the parties Tuesday, is for SoftBank to buy 11 percent of Yahoo Japan from New York-based Altaba, and then for Yahoo Japan to buy back its own shares from SoftBank. The entire transaction essentially lets Yahoo Japan remove a major overhang from its stock, while keeping its relationship with SoftBank mostly the same.
Independent directors of Askul Corp. criticized the company's biggest shareholder, Yahoo Japan Corp., for voting against their reappointment, escalating the public dispute before key meetings this week. The negative vote "trampled upon" corporate governance at Askul and makes it "almost impossible for independent directors to oversee conflicts of interest," Kazuo Toda, Hideaki Miyata and Atsushi Saito told the Tokyo Stock Exchange in a statement on Sunday. The rare instance of public bickering in corporate Japan first flared this month after Askul accused Yahoo Japan of violating the spirit of their agreement by demanding the sale of internet mail-order business Lohaco, which the two companies had jointly created in 2012. Yahoo Japan in turn wants to oust Askul's chief executive officer, Shoichiro Iwata, and the independent directors, saying it is unhappy with the firm's deteriorating business. Askul now plans to exercise its right to demand Yahoo Japan sell its 45 percent stake at a board meeting set for Thursday.