AOL, Time Warner Clear FCC Hurdle
A year and a day after proposing a bold deal to create the biggest media company of the Internet age, America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. on Thursday cleared the final government hurdle to their $99-billion merger, according to Los Angeles Times.
The paper said although the regulatory review took longer than anticipated, the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously in favor of the deal. "You've got approval," quipped FCC Commissioner Susan Ness, referring to the chirpy "You've got mail" greeting on AOL's Internet service.
By a narrower 3-2 vote, the commission also voted to impose modest conditions to AOL's dominant instant-messaging service, said the paper.
The new company, known as AOL Time Warner, wasted no time and formally closed the merger late Thursday, leaving executives with the difficult task of leading two very different corporate cultures.
"This is a historic moment for consumers everywhere, and a tremendous step toward our goal of becoming the world's most respected and valued company," Steve Case, chairman of the new company, was quoted by LAT as saying.
AFP reported Friday early that the FCC gave “conditional final approval” to the merger, citing FCC chairman William Kennard as announcing.
Kennard said the approval, which came after weeks of negotiations, was effective January 11. But he warned that, "This link between these two giant companies, the number one and the number two cable operators in the country, raises some competitive concerns."
The Federal Trade Commission gave its approval to the merger last month, leaving the FCC as the last regulatory agency to review the case – Albawba.com
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