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Creating a media titan

The Federal Trade Commission gives the green light to the multibillion-dollar merger between America Online and Time Warner, leaving one last step before the deal is done.


FTC sets terms for AOL-Time Warner merger; FCC up next

By CNET News.com Staff
Dec. 14, 2000, 1:55 p.m. PT

With FTC approval, the companies clear their most significant hurdle to date. The merger, valued at $109 billion, will bring together the leading Internet service provider with one of the largest cable operators in the United States. The deal still faces scrutiny by the Federal Communications Commission, however.

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FTC details merger provisions
Robert Pitofsky, FTC Chairman
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AOL, Time Warner complete major hurdle
Bill Kovacic, professor, George Washington University
FTC approves AOL Time Warner
update The 5-0 decision by the FTC represents the most significant regulatory hurdle yet to the business combination, one of the largest in corporate history.

Decision sets cable access rules
The commission's approval of the AOL-Time Warner deal offers the first significant rules for regulating competition of high-speed Internet access.

The price of the deal
America Online's proposed merger with Time Warner creates a unique hybrid company that defies easy classification--is it a media titan, an online behemoth or both?

Shares rise after key approval
update Since the merger was announced, AOL shares have tumbled 33 percent, sliding with the broad tech sell-off. Time Warner shares, however, have climbed.


EarthLink a "template" for future deals
update Regulators and industry rivals are looking at the EarthLink deal as a blueprint for how AOL intends to provide cable connections to competing ISPs.

AOL offers glimpse of music strategy
Web portals struggling to harmonize their online music plans are closely watching moves by the merger partners to create a music subscription service.

EU gives blessing to AOL-Time Warner combo
audio | update The European Commission grants approval for the world's largest corporate merger, setting the stage for U.S. regulators to rule on the deal.

You've got Time Warner: Making of a giant deal
special coverage In January, AOL announced its intentions to buy cable giant Time Warner in a deal to create a media superpower.

A media arsenal
The combination of AOL and Time Warner will bring together properties that span the entertainment, publishing and Internet worlds.

America Online
Already the nation's largest ISP, with 26 million subscribers, AOL will become a division within the combined company that will offer entertainment and news programming from Time Warner's media stable to online customers.

Time Warner Cable
One of the key aspects of the deal involves Time Warner's nationwide cable TV operations, the nation's second largest after AT&T's, with access to about 21 million homes. Time Warner has been upgrading its systems to handle advanced interactive services, but regulators have insisted that the company allow competing online companies access to its cable lines.

Time Inc.
Time Warner's publishing division is the largest magazine company in the United States, taking in some 23 percent of all advertising revenue from consumer magazines last year. Executives see more cooperation between AOL and Time Inc.

Warner Music Group
Executives see music as a key area of early melding of the two companies. AOL already has Winamp and Spinner.com. Like other major music concerns, Warner Music has been working to find ways to distribute and sell music online, and the link with AOL could vault Warner ahead of competitors such as BMG, EMI, Sony and Universal.

Cable networks
News material from Time Warner's CNN and entertainment programming from HBO could provide key raw material for similar "channels" on AOL. TBS Entertainment, which along with CNN is a business started by cable pioneer Ted Turner, includes the cable networks TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network, as well as the Atlanta Braves and the Goodwill Games. These networks could also play a key role in AOLTV, a new interactive TV service being developed by AOL.

Warner Bros.
A major studio for producing movies and TV programs, Warner Bros. may not be able to immediately take advantage of Time Warner's digital transformation. Upgrades to broadband Internet connections over cable TV or satellite connections are slow, but are expected to eventually make movies a key form of entertainment to be delivered over AOL and other online outlets.

Source: The Associated Press