Yahoo, a web and software company that has long played second fiddle to Google in a number of fields, including email, search, and advertising, may change its name if a planned acquisition by telecommunications giant Verizon is completed. These plans were revealed in SEC filings submitted by Yahoo in preparation for the merger. The proposed new name for the firm is “Altaba.”
Yahoo has not yet made a statement about why it plans to change its name, but analysts think that it may be because the “Yahoo” name is too strongly associated with its largely failed search, email, and advertising competitor sites to Google. Today, most of Yahoo’s success is due to its successful news website Yahoo! News, which is the most-read website in the United States, as well as its ownership of a number of other popular websites, including photo site Flickr and social site Tumblr. The new “Altaba” name is expected to improve the image of the company by giving it a more mature and serious tone.
This move can be compared with Google’s recent decision to change the name of its parent company to Alphabet. This sort of name change helps to differentiate the company’s well-known search and web services from its other endeavors into a variety of fields including autonomous vehicle development and aerospace technology.
Verizon’s move to acquire Yahoo will put the telecommunications giant in control of Yahoo’s sprawling holdings, which has put some regulatory agencies on notice – as a result, the merger’s success is less than certain. Yahoo’s recent security scandal, in which the user data of millions of users was stolen by hackers, also endangers the deal. This means that Yahoo’s name change may not happen right away, but the company has definitely signaled a willingness to move away from its past and see what the future holds.