Feeds

FTC starts gearing up for AOL/Time Warner battle

Okay, so now we're getting somewhere

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Right. After too many days of aimless newspaper articles, we're finally getting an indication as to what is going on with the AOL/Time Warner merger.

If you remember correctly, the FTC has to pass on the instant messaging malarkey (swiftly picked by the FCC) but is now getting its teeth into the rest of it. Apparently the FTC has started asking for sworn testimonies from the two companies' rivals and this has given them the confidence they needed to start talking to the press about their concerns.

Not that the FTC asking for testimonies means that the merger won't eventually go ahead, but then it also wouldn't go to the trouble unless it was serious. The FTC would be a poor poker player - it's bluffing is rubbish.

The FTC is worried about two main groups: ISPs - who could be wiped out by an all-powerful AOL and broadband providers, who will have to deal with Time Warner's cable system. Now, seeing as AOL is a basically just an ISP, the FTC would have to work out some kind of framework to save the others from its boot. But with the cable system, it could force Time Warner to sell off part of all of it since that is one of the smaller pies that the company has its fingers into.

Oh, and then there's the music side of it. What about the EMI takeover? It looks like the Bertelsmann alliance is a dead duck. It is these issues that have formed the bulk of competitors' complaints. As for how to come to agreement, quite a few people are keen on the idea of an independent panel to decide disputes on a one-month start-to-finish basis. Apparently this was the system that was used when Vodafone was eating up Mannesmann.

We'll keep you informed but it's all up in the air at the moment. It looks as though the FCC suddenly felt it had bitten off more than it could chew because it started leaking that it was going to let the whole thing go through. Now the FTC has started play hardball, we might find the FCC gets brave again. ®

Related Stories

FTC mutes AOL/Time Warner wedding bells
FTC trouble nobbling AOL's instant messaging
AOL to open up instant messaging to secure Time Warner deal?
AOL is full of it, say M$, Excite

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.