Yahoo + AOL = Oath, for some reason

Verizon’s long-promised Yahoo acquisition has a name. And it, for some reason, is Oath. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong acknowledged the strange new branding on Twitter earlier today after word leaked out that the four-letter word was set to become the love child of the forthcoming AOL-Yahoo merger.

“Billion+ Consumers, 20+ Brands, Unstoppable Team,” Armstrong tweeted. “#TakeTheOath. Summer 2017.” The note also includes a simple logo for the new company in bolded Helvetica, further branded “A Verizon Company,” which combines AOL and Yahoo’s respected branding punctuation into a blue colon.

Armstrong’s comments on the new brand are thus far limited to an acknowledgement of its existence and the promise that it’s set to officially drop this summer. AOL has further commented mysteriously, “In the summer of 2017, you can bet we will be launching one of the most disruptive brand companies in digital.”

Disruptive and unstoppable. You cannot beat the Oath, apparently. You can only hope to take it. As to precisely what’s meant by “tak[ing] the Oath,” well, your guess is as good as ours. The initial rumors that appear to have prompted the acknowledgment point to additional branding information and company details rolling out in the next week or so.

Verizon first announced its plans to acquire Yahoo back in July of last year, leaving the unpurchased portions of the company to be branded under the similarly strange title, Altaba. In January, CEO Marissa Mayer stepped down from the company’s board. (And Kara Swisher over at Recode is reporting that Mayer will not be staying on at the company.)

The deal has hit a number of bumps along the way, including the disclosure of multiple Yahoo security breaches. That helped drive the price down by $350 million to $4.48 billion in February, which still makes for a pretty pricey oath.

TechCrunch is owned by AOL, which is, in turn owned by Verizon. Hopefully a more sufficient instructional video is on the way. In lieu of something more official, here’s what the TC staff is saying about the new brand direction:

  • Church of data breaches
  • I honestly thought it was a joke at first and it was an homage to “OAuth” …someone trolling Yahoo.
  • Is Aol now called the Oath, or is this all a joke? Yes

Twitter had its own thoughts on the new brand.