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AOL and Time Warner to hear merger decision today

AOL and Time Warner will hear today whether their proposed $100bn merger has been approved.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) - AOL and Time Warner will hear today whether their proposed $100bn merger has been approved.

A closed meeting will take place at 11am (4pm GMT) in Washington, DC today, where US Federal Trade Commission officials will cast their votes on whether to accept the deal or to file a suit against the two companies in order to block the merger.

Wall Street analysts are confident that the merger will go ahead, although they admit there is a chance that the FTC will choose to block the deal. According to some press reports, some of the commissioners were yesterday still unsure about which way to vote.

Throughout this week, FTC commissioners have met with consumer groups and other opponents who are urging the officials to try and secure more concessions from the two companies. Since the deal was first announced in January, opponents have expressed concerns that a merged entity will have too much power. The fear is that AOL might prevent competitors from accessing Time Warner’s cable TV systems, and that Time Warner could be reluctant to share its content with AOL rivals.

Although the FTC has already delayed its decision on the merger twice, experts do not expect the FTC to fail to reach an agreement today and, if approved, the merger could go ahead by early 2001.

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