Ethics is the Foundation for Business

Verizon will purchase Yahoo’s internet business for $4.83 billion. Verizon is offering $350 million less than its initial bid. Both companies will share any future cost from the data breaches. Verizon will also waive its right to sue over allegations that Yahoo staged a cover-up of the breaches. The investment fund selling Yahoo will still be liable for penalties from the SEC and shareholder lawsuits. The sale price reductions are reasonable. Other breaches cost companies more than $100 million.

Transparency is the greatest concern for Verizon and the SEC. If Yahoo disclosed the event earlier the harm to investors may have less. Verizon’s bid impact would be less if it were known during due diligence. They instead had to react strongly to the news after due diligence. This proves that transparency is the best policy for all parties in the long run.

A strong compliance and ethics program is the foundation for businesses of all sizes. Business ethics is more than a slogan in a policy manual. The benefits of a compliance and ethics program are attainable without large programs built by even larger consulting firms. Leadership commitment to compliance and ethics is the first step. If the first step is inexpensive, why make the next steps expensive and complicated?

The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics has many free resources available to assist with building a compliance program.

A Compliance & Ethics Program on a Dollar a Day: How Small Companies Can Have Effective Programs