If you merge the letters from AOL and Yahoo, take a few away, and add a "t," you have Oath, which is what Verizon is planning to call a new entity combining the two companies after its acquisition of Yahoo is complete. "Billion+ Consumers, 20+ Brands, Unstoppable Team," tweeted AOL chief Tim Armstrong on Monday, adding the hashtag #TakeTheOath. AOL says the new company will be "one of the most disruptive brands in digital" after it arrives this summer. The announcement brought plenty of speculation about what kind of future Oath will have—and plenty of poking fun at the name. A roundup:
- The new name is a "special kind of bad," writes Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica. "An oath is something you either take," like an oath of office, "or a blasphemous interjection," he writes. "In the case of Oath the company, it may be more of an oath of acquiescence as Verizon's mobile and broadband customers sign their contract."
- The 20 brands Armstrong referred to include the Huffington Post, Flickr, and Tumblr. It's not clear what parts of the business the Yahoo name might survive in, and a Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on the new name to Business Insider. The deal could be complete as soon as April 24.
- Twitter users had a lot of fun with the name, describing it as better suited to a German heavy metal band or "the name of a movie that stars Nicole Kidman as a troubled Puritan widow in 1600s Massachusetts," CNET reports. " The last 'oath' Yahoo took was to keep my email safe and WELLLLLL," tweeted Silicon Valley editor Casey Newton.
- Sources tell Recode that Marissa Mayer will have no role at the combined company. The blog is offering a free T-shirt to the author of the funniest joke under the #MockTheOath hashtag.
- Oath, an apparent attempt to breathe new life into both firms, is being called one of the worst rebrandings in corporate history, reports the Telegraph, though some critics say it is merely the worst since the Tribune Company became "tronc."