FTC approves merger of AOL, Time Warner

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America Online's $111 billion merger deal with Time Warner drew critical approval Thursday from the Federal Trade Commission after the companies agreed to ensure that the combination wouldn't limit access to cable modem lines to services offered by AOL or its partners.

Time Warner services 20 percent of the country's cable TV households, and there had been complaints that the original deal would have removed competition among Internet providers for broadband. Some feared it would allow AOL to put a stranglehold on competitors to Time Warner's cable TV networks, who wanted to offer their own interactive or broadband products.

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Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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