Two of the oldest online brand names, Yahoo and AOL, are going to merge their operations into one company under their new owner. Verizon, which already owns AOL and will take control of Yahoo’s core assets later this year, will combine both divisions once the Yahoo deal is complete. When than happens, the company will have a new name: Oath.
The news of Oath was broken by Business Insider earlier today, and later confirmed by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong in a Twitter post:
Verizon bought AOL, which includes popular web sites like The Huffington Post, Engadget and TechCrunch, for $4.4 billion in the summer of 2015. In 2016, it announced an agreement to acquire most of Yahoo’s assets for $4.8 billion. The Yahoo deal is expected to close sometime in the second quarter of 2017.
Business Insider’s story did not indicate if the Yahoo or AOL branding will be completely ditched with this merger, or if they will continue to be used for services such as AOL.com or Yahoo Mail. According to Recode, the new company will be lead by Armstrong. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has already confirmed she will be leaving after the merger with Verizon is completed. Armstrong is said to be in discussions on which Yahoo execs will remain and which will be asked to depart.
We do have to wonder how Verizon came up with Oath as the name of the merged Yahoo-AOL division. The name itself usually is meant to convey “a solemn promise” but it can also be used “to express anger or other strong emotions.” We are not sure either meaning is terribly useful to describe an internet-based media group.
What do you think of the Oath name for the merged version of Yahoo and AOL? Should Verizon keep both brands around in some way or ditch one or both of them forever? Let us know what you think in the comments!