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AOL/TW, TW/EMI COMPROMISES
MAY NOT BE ENOUGH FOR EC

Despite Clever Abbreviations, Companies Are Actually Quite Large
America Online, Time Warner and EMI's response to the European Commission's statement of objections to the proposed mergers may not go far enough in meeting the EC's competition concerns.

To please the EC, AOL has offered to change the structure of its joint control of AOL Europe with Bertelsmann and wait three years before using AOL's U.S. dominance as a leveraging tool in Europe. They have vowed to refrain from forcing content providers who want to be a part of AOL U.S. to sign exclusivity deals with the less-dominating AOL Europe. EMI has also promised to wait three years in providing preferential access of its music to AOL/TW properties. This assumes that the three-year window will give the competition enough of a head start or that by 2004 or so everyone will have forgotten any objection to AOLTWEMI.

Last Wednesday (9/6), EMI Group Chairman Eric Nicoli, EMI Recorded Music Worldwide President/CEO Ken Berry, Time Warner President Richard Parsons and Warner Music Group Chairman Roger Ames met with the European Commission in Brussels in an attempt to assuage their concerns (hitsdailydouble.com 9/7) and eat some delicious Belgian waffles.

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