According to an article published earlier this afternoon on Bloomberg, CBS and Viacom will be merging into one company in an all-stock deal. The new joint entity will be called ViacomCBS. The news was shared via Bloomberg’s Twitter feed:
JUST IN: CBS and Viacom are set to combine in an all-stock merger. The media behemoth formed will be called ViacomCBS, according to a person familiar with the deal https://t.co/D8FgpuYkLg pic.twitter.com/ItzdTC8QN3
— Bloomberg (@business) August 13, 2019
Interestingly, it does not look like either CBS nor Viacom secured the ViacomCBS.com domain name. ViacomCBS.com was registered to an entity in Korea on April 24, 2019. It looks like the domain name has a default hosting company or domain registrar landing page. It also looks like the same registrant bought CBSViacom.com in January of 2018.
Assuming this domain name was not registered by someone affiliated with either company (or representing either company or the merged company), if the company wants this domain name, Viacom or CBS will either have to pay the registrant, spend money on a UDRP, or litigate. If I were to guess, I would say #1 or #2 is more likely, depending on how quickly the company would want to have the domain name and whether or not it would be willing to pay a third party to buy it.
Personally, I stay away from domain names like these. I think the likely payoff is very small compared to the risk of a UDRP. It would seem like a pretty easy win for one or both companies considering the two famous trademarks, although some companies prefer to pay a token amount to avoid a UDRP.
It will be interesting to see what happens with these domain names.