Verizon has just confirmed the long speculated plans to group together the combined AOL and Yahoo brands, and they have announced the proposed name for the new company. The internet has already had its way with this name, but it looks like the company will be known as “Oath.”
But amid the snickering and head scratching, Verizon is trying to make it very clear that this is not your every day corporate merger. For one, even though they are uniting everything under a single name, they have no plans to start renaming all of the consolidated products.
Indeed, Verizon attests that all of the AOL and Yahoo brands will, in fact, remain. Specifically, the company makes it known that the plan is that Oath will become a kind of umbrella with an impressive portfolio of all the brands it has just absorbed (mostly Yahoo! properties).
As a matter of fact, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong explained “It actually clears the lane for us to really promote Yahoo and AOL and TechCrunch and Huffington Post, and Moviefone. Some of the reaction you see to the brand, I think, is short-term thinking.”
That “reaction” of course, is the snickering and head scratching mentioned above.
Armstrong goes on to say, “We developed the brand in-house. In the last 24 hours we’ve probably gotten 50 million dollars worth of brand marketing for it.”
That’s true: when the internet blows up—good or bad—everyone knows your name. And, in this case, that name is “Oath.”
Armstrong continues, “We’re going to touch over a billion consumers. I think we’re in a very good position to launch what I would say is the largest house of trusted brands in the digital space.” Finally, he concludes that “Oath is a brand that will start out as a values-based brand, about connecting our values.” He explains that over time, they hope to create other brands around the Oath name; for now, “the most important brands we have are things like Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Tumblr, Huffington Post.”
This Yahoo-Verizon merger is expected to close some time in the second fiscal quarter of this year, probably no later than April 24. After this tentative deadline, the parties involved can seek out another quarter-long extension or even terminate the deal. For now, of course, it seems that the termination clause is somewhat superficial.