AOL-CompuServe deal cleared

The Justice Department's antitrust division clears the way for AOL to acquire CompuServe's interactive services division from WorldCom.

The antitrust division of the Justice Department has cleared the way for America Online(AOL) to acquire CompuServe's(CSRV) interactive services division from WorldCom(WCOM).

The Justice Department said it will not seek additional information regarding the acquisition, which means that it does not see any antitrust issues arising from the deal, a DOJ spokesman said.

The closing of the transaction remains subject to completion of foreign regulatory matters and CompuServe shareholder approval, but that is expected to occur during the first quarter of 1998.

The deal, announced September 8, allows AOL to acquire CompuServe's interactive services business and receive about $175 million in cash from WorldCom in exchange for ANS, AOL's network subsidiary.

Under a five-year contract, WorldCom will become AOL's largest network service provider.

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