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Time Warner Inc. Message Board

  • long_term_long long_term_long Dec 11, 2000 12:05 AM Flag

    FTC nears approval of merger


    WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - A majority of the
    five-member Federal Trade Commission is now prepared to vote
    to approve America Online Inc.'s <AOL.N>
    proposed takeover of Time Warner Inc. <TX.N>, the
    Washington Post reported in Monday editions, quoting unnamed
    sources familiar with the matter.

    The Post said a
    formal vote was expected Thursday on the $183 billion
    deal, which would create a vast media and Internet
    company that some consumer groups and competitors fear
    would dominate the Internet and limit consumer choice.

    Some opponents have meetings scheduled with FTC
    commissioners this week in hopes of persuading them to block
    the deal in court, the Post said.

    But after
    months of wrenching negotiations with Dulles-based AOL
    and Time Warner, three -- and possibly four --
    members of the five-member FTC now believe that the
    settlement agreement on the table is the best deal they can
    get from the parties, the Post quoted its sources as

    European regulators have already given
    their blessing to the deal, which was announced in
    January. It must also be reviewed by the Federal
    Communications Commission, and FCC commissioners expressed
    optimism Friday that they can move quickly to finish work
    after FTC action.

    AOL has negotiated a deal
    with EarthLink Inc. <ELNK.O> , the largest U.S.
    Internet service provider after AOL, in an effort to prove
    its willingness to open the cable systems.

    The Post said Commissioner Orson Swindle, a former
    Reagan administration official, FTC Chairman Robert
    Pitofsky, and Commissioner Thomas Leary were expected to
    approve the deal.

    The paper said it was less
    clear where Commissioner Sheila Anthony stood on the
    merger. Commissioner Mozelle Thompson, a former Treasury
    Department official, has been the most outspoken in his
    concerns about the merger, it added.

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