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Internet

AOL Time Warner ad practices decried

Three consumer groups have joined some Internet service providers in asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate AOL Time Warner's refusal to accept ads from competing DSL (digital subscriber line) providers. Such companies use a high-speed technology to deliver information over ordinary copper telephone lines. The Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and Media Access Project say the practice is anti-competitive and violates the consent decree that America Online and Time Warner had to sign for their merger to pass regulatory muster. "AOL, once the most vocal and powerful advocate of open networks and competitive broadband technologies, after the merger would have an obvious incentive to squash competing technologies to more quickly grow their cable broadband market share," the groups said in a letter to FTC Chairman Timothy Muris.

    Three consumer groups have joined some Internet service providers in asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate AOL Time Warner's refusal to accept ads from competing DSL (digital subscriber line) providers. Such companies use a high-speed technology to deliver information over ordinary copper telephone lines.

    The Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and Media Access Project say the practice is anti-competitive and violates the consent decree that America Online and Time Warner had to sign for their merger to pass regulatory muster. "AOL, once the most vocal and powerful advocate of open networks and competitive broadband technologies, after the merger would have an obvious incentive to squash competing technologies to more quickly grow their cable broadband market share," the groups said in a letter to FTC Chairman Timothy Muris.