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Concern from US regulators over AOL – Time Warner merger


The Washington Post reported that the Federal Trade Commission will seek to block the proposed merger of America Online and Time Warner unless a agreement is promised to allow competing services use their high-speed cable lines. There is fear that their merger would stifle broadband and digital music access.

Lawyers with the US governments watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), are involved with discussions with Time Warner and AOL and are expected to continue until a compromise is reached. FTC Officials fear that a lack of viable competition in certain areas controlled by Time Warner will force consumers into having to accept the new merged company's service.

The European Commission (EC) fears that the merger in conjunction with Time Warners planned venture with EMI, would lead to an oligopoly of four firms dominating the West European recorded music market. The EC will be holding a closed-door hearing into the EMI/Time Warner venture on Wednesday and Thursday.


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