AOL-Time Warner deal OK'd

— 12:00 AM on December 15, 2000

According to this article over at Wired, the FTC has approved the proposed AOL/Time Warner merger. While the $111 billion deal isn't final yet, the unanimous decision by the FTC virtually ensures it things will go through.

The commission and the companies settled on a series of conditions aimed at addressing competitive concerns raised by the merger. That agreement also could set an important precedent for how the government will oversee the development of new Web services like high-speed access and interactive television still in their infancy.

The commission voted 5-0 to approve the deal, even though some members had earlier expressed concerns about its competitive impact on consumers. Details of the agreement were not immediately available, but the FTC scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the settlement.

To assuage wary regulators, Time Warner had agreed to give consumers a choice of Internet providers, besides AOL, on its high-speed Web access delivered over its cable lines.

Will be interesting to see just how this pans out as far as competition goes, but I'm not holding my breath.
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