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Verizon Drops $350 Million From Offer to Buy Yahoo Because of Data Breaches

When Yahoo disclosed last year that hackers had compromised 1.5 billion email accounts, Verizon saw a silver lining in the cloud over its offer to buy the company. Let's make that about $350 million worth of silver lining.

Verizon had offered to pay $4.8 billion for Yahoo's core internet business before the data breaches were discovered, but now the parties have agreed to $4.48 billion. According to reports, the deal will go to shareholders for approval in April.

"We have always believed this acquisition makes strategic sense," said Verizon's Marni M. Walden. "We look forward to moving ahead expeditiously so that we can quickly welcome Yahoo's tremendous talent and assets into our expanding portfolio in the digital advertising space."

Kraft-Heinz made a $143 billion bid to takeover Unilever last week. The potential merger would have brought iconic U.S. brands like Jell-O and Velveeta together with Unilever best-sellers like Ben & Jerry's and Knorr's instant pea soup, creating a packaged food powerhouse to rival the world's current biggest food company, Nestle.

The takeover didn't work out, with Kraft withdrawing the offer over the weekend. But, it could be a sign that more food industry mergers are likely in the future.

After Anthem-Cigna Merger Blocked, What's Next for the Health Care Insurance Titans?

The writing had been on the wall for health care insurers for some time.

Citing anti-trust violations, a federal judge had blocked Aetna's plan to merge with Humana last month. Anthem had to see it coming for its deal with Cigna this week.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson blocked Anthem's planned merger for similar reasons -- the companies are just too big for the competition. Together, the rulings snuffed out nearly $100 billion in deals between the health-care insurance companies.

As stocks rose and fell on the news, lawyers scrambled to put the pieces together. But it's not likely anyone can put them back together again. There is one thing for sure, however. The attorneys will be talking about whether Anthem and Aetna owe Humana and Cigna almost $3 billion in termination fees.

Will Surge in Mergers Bring More Lawsuits?

As President Trump's economic policies take shape, observers predict a surge in mergers this year. It may also bring back merger litigation, which slowed down in the last years of the Obama administration.

Trump's new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has already promised to "weed whack" many regulations, signaling his intent to follow the president's lead and keep hands off corporate America. With proposed mergers moving forward for giants like Verizon/Yahoo and At&T/Time Warner, this may be the year of the big deal.

It is ironic that media mergers seem to be on the forefront of a trend at the same time Trump has declared war on the media. In any case, cooler heads say media companies simply have to make moves to compete.

Fiat Chrysler is the smallest of Detroit's 'Big Three' automakers. But it could become a lot bigger if it merged with General Motors.

If such a merger happened, it would likely have the blessing of President-elect Donald Trump -- and presumably the regulators working for his administration. At least, that's what Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne speculated this week.

Celebrities and Supreme Court justices weren't the only ones to die this year. 2016 saw the most broken M&A deals in recent history, according to the New York Times. In terms of transactions withdrawn after being publicly announced, this year was the biggest since the financial crisis of 2008, Michael J. de la Merced reports.

In total, busted deals represented nearly $800 billion, or almost a quarter of the $3.55 trillion in transactions announced during 2016.

Checklist for Reorganization After a Merger

In a way, a merger is like a marriage. It's a union of separate beings contributing to a common goal. After the honeymoon, they will face new challenges but the successful ones will continue for many years.

So why are some mergers more like bad marriages? Maybe they forgot that successful unions take some time and definitely take more work. Below is a checklist to ensure successful reorganization after a merger.

On the eve of the one of the busiest travel periods of the year, two major airline carriers announced that they'll soon become one. The Alaska Air Group said last week that it had finally wrapped up its acquisition of Virgin America, a deal that had been delayed for months, in part due to anti-trust review by the Department of Justice.

The merger has a total value of $4 billion, according to a statement by Virgin America. Their merger will create the fifth largest airline in the nation. To celebrate, the companies launched a new aircraft with combined branding from San Francisco International airport last week.

Tesla Merger Is a Green Light for Lawyers

Now that Tesla has acquired Solar City, it will be a go for lawyers also.

Tesla, the largest electric car-maker in the United States, merged with Solar City, the largest solar panel company in the country, in a $2 billion deal. Shareholders of the companies approved the merger, with stock prices rising about 1.1 percent to almost $187 a share. Elon Musk, who now effectively runs both companies, said the acquisition was all about sustainable energy. The merger will sustain lawyers for some time as well.

Last month, AT&T announced plans to acquire Time Warner for over $85 billion. The merger, if allowed, would give birth to a massive new telecom and media Goliath, combining one of the nation’s biggest content creators with one of its biggest content distributors.

But, like all mergers, AT&T and Time Warner will have to survive the scrutiny of antitrust authorities at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission first. And, because Time Warner is a media company, the deal could come under scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission, an agency Bloomberg describes as “a graveyard for mergers.”