10/28/2010 04:22 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Nine Great Brands That Had To Change Their Names

lightly (Apple Inc. was once Apple Computer), but hardly enough for most people to notice. Some of the world's largest companies have changed their names out of necessity, often due to mergers. Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the combination of two companies-Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) was once AOL Time Warner and owned Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and online portal AOL (NYSE: AOL). Both of those companies are gone and so is the firm's former name.

As part of 24/7 Wall St.'s ongoing look at brands, the value of brands, and the purchase and sale of brands, we looked at nine large companies that changed their names. Usually, particularly for corporations that have been in business for decades, the decision carries substantial risks. Tens of millions if not billions of dollars are put into creating brand identities and visibility, often over a long period - over a century, in the case of Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) or J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP).

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