America Online and Time Warner announced the completion of their merger Thursday, after receiving the cautious blessing of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC approved the new AOL Time Warner, but outlined conditions to ensure that the new Internet media giant doesn't squash competition.
The $106 billion merger brings together Time Warner's massive content holdings which include Warner Bros. records and artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M. and Madonna, as well as CNN, Time and other networks and publications with AOL's popular online service. Time Warner also owns a system of cable lines second in number only to AT&T, according to the Associated Press.
Among the conditions imposed by the FCC is the requirement that AOL Time Warner ensure that AOL's instant messaging service and other programs such as music file-sharing can communicate with such rivals as Microsoft, Excite and AT&T, the AP said.