One can never really tell how the future may turn out, and what may be really hot and trendy today may be all but forgotten years from now. This has been the story of Yahoo! and America Online (AOL). Back in the 90s until the turn of the millennium they were powerhouses of the internet, with them being the top two most popular websites of the time. The changing online landscape of the 21st Century however began to gradually erode their dominance of the net until their sorry state today, both AOL and Yahoo! being acquisitions of Verizon, which in turn has decided on a way to revitalize the two…by merging them into one subsidiary company.
According to The Verge, the massive telecom and mass media company has decided to perform some heavy rebranding by proposing to combine the core web assets they got out of Yahoo! with AOL in order to create Oath: a Verizon Company. This new entity under the Verizon umbrella is scheduled to launch this summer, immediately as soon as the acquisition deal for Yahoo! is finalized. This arrangement would give Verizon control over the internet businesses of the former online pillar while the remaining assets are to be reorganized into a separate investment holding company named Altaba, comprised of stock from the Chinese retail juggernaut Alibaba and a portion of the still going Yahoo! Japan joint venture.
News about Oath was first broached by AOL head Tim Armstrong, who was part of the overall Verizon team that handled the Yahoo! acquisition deal. His announcement tweet even included a possible first slogan for the new merged company: “Take the Oath”. Another AOL spokesperson described the coming summer launch for Oath will be remembered being one of the “most disruptive companies in digital”. Further news details note that Armstrong may be put in charge of the new company while Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer will resign her position upon the merger, though a statement of hers quoted by a Yahoo! rep implied that she may still stay on as part of Oath.
The Verizon buyout of Yahoo!’s internet assets for $4.8 billion – a sorry sum compared to the company’s former worth of over $100 billion prior to the “2000 dot-com bubble-burst” – was first made public in July 2016, as a strategy by the telecom giant to challenge Google and Facebook on the online advertising front. Delays on a closed deal were attributed to hacking incidents that threated security for over a billion Yahoo! users, and it eventually lowered the acquisition price to an ever sorrier $350 million last February.
Whether this means that “Oath-Mail” and “Oath News” are things to look out for this summer has not been confirmed.
Photo courtesy of thenextweb.com