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AOL, TW AWAIT FTC VOTE TODAY

Please Read The Following While Listening To Tom Petty’s "The Waiting Is The Hardest Part"
The Federal Trade Commission is nearing its decision on the proposed America Online-Time Warner merger, with a vote scheduled this morning (12/14).

The vote may still be put off as previous deadlines in the review have come and gone.

If the vote comes today, the FTC will either issue a consent agreement with major restrictions attached to the deal or decide to take AOL and TW to court in an attempt to block the deal, according to published reports. No official word, however, has come from the FTC on its plans.

The FTC has chiefly expressed concern regarding how the combined company will run its cable operations, an issue that has already led AOLTW to offer rival Internet service providers access to its high-speed network. It is still unclear whether those steps have won over regulators or whether regulators will demand further concessions.

If the FTC approves the merger, the companies then face another potential impasse with the Federal Communications Commission.

In related news, AT&T is set to announce on Friday (12/15) that it is seeking to shed its 25% interest in Time Warner Entertainment, a stake that Wall Street values at up to $10 billion, London's Financial Times reports.

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