"America Online" is dead, ISP positions "AOL" as global brand
AOL today said that it officially has retired the name "America Online" in favor of "AOL." The company had announced in October of last year that it would stop marketing "America Online" and increase visibility of "AOL" with a $50 million ad campaign.
"Our company long ago accomplished the mission implied by our old name ... we literally got America online," said Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of AOL. "Our new corporate identity better reflects our expanded mission - to make everyone’s online experience better. Plus, consumers in the U.S. and around the world already know us by our initials."
The name America Online was first used in 1990 as rebranding for "Quantum Computer Services," which was established in 1985 and operated BBS’s such as Quantum Link.
Along with the name, the legal structure of AOL has also changed from a corporation ("Corp.") to a limited liability company ("LLC"). The forming of LLCs is typically driven by taxation rules as well as lawsuit protection. While an LLC will allow Time Warner to include AOL’s revenues and earnings/losses to pay its taxes, the firm’s assets are still protected from potential lawsuits that are filed against AOL.