What do you do when you buy one of the world’s most recognizable tech brands? Rebrand!
Verizon is reportedly preparing to launch “Oath,” which will be some sort of rebranded combination of Yahoo, AOL and conceivably an ancient scroll signed in blood.
Business Insider first reported on the rebranding rollup and noted that it is unclear whether the Yahoo and AOL brands will remain in any capacity.
When reached for comment, an AOL spokesperson played coy: “In the summer of 2017, you can bet we will be launching one of the most disruptive brand companies in digital.”
Whatever “Oath” ends up being (to me, it sounds like a band that might have opened for Creed), it’s hard to believe that Verizon would purchase Yahoo and then immediately dispose of the brand.
Verizon bought Yahoo (excluding its interest in Alibaba) for $4.83 billion in July 2016, though the finalization of that deal has taken some time due to the revelation of massive data breaches at Yahoo.
Despite its problems, Yahoo remains among the biggest destinations for internet users (yes, particularly people who just use its email, but still). AOL is also still a pretty big name.
Merging AOL and Yahoo does not come as a surprise, as Verizon’s goal in buying Yahoo was to create a group of internet destinations with enough visitors so it could provide something of an alternative to the digital duopoly of Google and Facebook.
The “Oath” news quickly brought on comparisons to tronc, which is the name that the iconic Tribune Publishing company transitioned to as part of its move to embrace the internet.
And, like tronc, Twitter had a few jokes at the expense of “Oath.”
— Seth Fiegerman (@sfiegerman) April 3, 2017
The last “oath” Yahoo took was to keep my email safe and WELLLLLL
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) April 3, 2017