Quick notes why the AOL acquisition of Time-Warner should be stopped:

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  1. AOL is the single most important force today in advocating for open access to the cable broad band platform. If this merger is approved, AOL's interests will be fundamentally changed.
  2. AOL is a direct competitor to Time-Warner as an Internet content provider on broad band services.
  3. One relevant market for AOL and Time-Warner as content providers is for providing navigation and interface services to Internet users - such as menus for electronic commerce.
  4. If AOL can buy Time-Warner, will a Microsoft/AT&T merger be far behind?
  5. AT&T and Time-Warner are both trying to set up broad band internet services that can discriminate among content providers, and effectively degrade services offered by competitors.
Jamie Love, Director, Consumer Project on Technology


Comment on this message:

"Meeks, Brock" wrote:
> But Steve Case, just now on the conference call, said that he knew the cable
> open access issue would be a potential hurdle, so "we took it off the table
> right away" but saying that the new company would be in FAVOR of open access
> cable and provide for customer choice for ISPs.

   When AOL purchaed Netscape, the company said it would continue to
support the Mozilla project.  We asked AOL to make specific legally
binding commitments to this effect, and AOL refused.  Since then, there
have been some notable departures from the Mozilla project staff.  

Here is a link to Steve Case's letter to Jamie Zawinski when the
Netscape merger was announced.  


   "Hopefully by now the AOL positon on mozilla.org is clear to all, but
I did want to let you know personally that we're very supportive of

When the merger was pending, Jamie Zawinski was quite hopeful.  But
later he resigned.  


In general, we expect AOL to flip an issues when it suits AOL -- just as
it did when it dropped Netscape as its browser in return for Microsoft
giving AOL a good position for its ICON on Windows.  


James Love
voice 1.202.387.8030

Other people who know about this include:

Andy Schwartzman, Media Access Project Jeff Chester, Media Access Project Gene Kimmelman, Consumers Union Mark Cooper, CFA