With Verizon moving ahead with its purchase of Yahoo, the telecom giant is thinking ahead to a broader rebranding of its new Internet properties, including AOL.
Once the Yahoo deal closes, AOL and Yahoo will be known as Oath — or more formally, “Oath: A Verizon Company,” as a tweet on Monday from AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong attests.
— Tim Armstrong (@timarmstrongaol) April 3, 2017
The new name, which was first reported by Business Insider, promptly received some ribbing on social media.
The obvious solution here was just to make "AOL!" the new name. https://t.co/3MP4RQM0Q6
— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) April 3, 2017
Tribune Publishing: "We will now be known as Tronc."
Verizon: “Hold my beer.” https://t.co/KSP4C87tEO
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) April 3, 2017
But for Verizon, the acquisition is no laughing matter. It bought AOL in part to take advantage of its advertising technology, which will become all the more valuable when Verizon can use it to sell increasingly targeted ads against Yahoo's content.
Judging by Armstrong's tweet, which points to “20+ brands,” it appears that many of the individual services and features that consumers currently associate with Yahoo and AOL properties, such as the Huffington Post or Yahoo Sports, will not be going away.
Verizon bought AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion, and announced it would pay $4.8 billion for Yahoo a year later. But before long, revelations about multiple historic data breaches at Yahoo called the fate of the deal into question, and Verizon ultimately settled on a new agreement in February to buy Yahoo for $4.45 billion.
AOL declined to elaborate on the meaning behind “Oath,” but said in a statement that it will be “one of the most disruptive brand companies in digital.”
Yahoo declined to comment. Verizon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.