AOL Time Warner drops 'AOL' from its name

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James

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AP Article via SJ Mercury News
Acknowledging the failures of the largest merger in U.S. history, the board of AOL Time Warner Inc. voted Thursday to remove the letters ``AOL'' from the company's name.

The largest media and entertainment company in the world will now be called Time Warner Inc., as it was before the merger announced on Jan. 10, 2000 that was billed as a way to jump-start a media revolution by combining ``old'' and ``new'' media companies.

``We believe that our new name better reflects the portfolio of our valuable businesses and ends any confusion between our corporate name and the America Online brand name for our investors, partners and the public,'' chairman and chief executive Richard Parsons said in a statement.

The stock symbol will change back to what it was before the AOL merger, TWX.
 

Sean Mota

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ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Based on your understanding of the company, what's the significance of the name change?

On one level it's a symbolic gesture. It signifies the utter disaster that this merger has been. When the merger was announced, AOL was the acquiring company, and now it's not even part of the name of the company, and they're changing the stock symbol as well to the Time Warner stock symbol.
It is the exclamation point at the end of the sentence signifying the utter coup by the Time Warner forces. They retook the hill. The company is Time Warner, and it's being run by Time Warner executives. The stock symbol is Time Warner, and AOL, which was the crown jewel of the company--that's what they called it when the merger was announced--is not even a division of the company. It's a unit of a division of the company.

The real question is whether Time Warner will get rid of not just the name AOL but the unit, the online business.
The AOL business is in utter disarray. Its subscribers are fleeing by the tens of thousands. At the same time, its advertising revenue is in deep decline.
So the two most important aspects of its business are in big trouble, and on top of that the online business is struggling to make the transition from dial-up service to high-speed by cable and satellite, and as of the moment the online division hasn't figured out how to make that transition.
To top it all off, there are two federal investigations focused on the online business, and that's a result of investigations we did at The Washington Post.
 
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