FTC unanimously approves AOL/Time Warner merger.
December 14, 2000 2:43 PM   Subscribe

FTC unanimously approves AOL/Time Warner merger. With a couple of restraint-avoidance conditions. Wonder who's gonna enforce those... Aw, crap.
posted by baylink (9 comments total)
It still has to be approved by the FCC, and weren't they the ones pushing for AOL to open their AIM protocol? Looks like it's not a done deal yet.
posted by mathowie at 2:46 PM on December 14, 2000

Did the Eurocrats ever get around to approving this thing? I can't remember, but without them the deal's just as dead. (hope hope)
posted by aaron at 3:12 PM on December 14, 2000

Approved by the European Commission back in October.
posted by dhartung at 8:02 PM on December 14, 2000

If this does go through, doesn't that mean tons of AOL users will be flooding into the cable modem market via Time Warner's Road Runner service? In densely populated areas like here in new york, shared bandwidth won't be a very friendly phrase.
posted by tomorama at 9:08 PM on December 14, 2000

In that case, we'll all switch to DSL. Nobody will pay $30-40 a month for cable modem service if it slows down to 56k.
posted by aaron at 9:11 PM on December 14, 2000

I hope AOL's experience with all the busy signals and whatnot a few years back will prod the Road Runner people into setting up a much better backbone.

Cable service isn't like you're all sharing the same pipe all the way through to the remote server, you're sharing the same pipe to the little green box on the lawn three neighbors over, which is sharing a line with all the other little green boxes to the big green box two blocks to the east. That, in turn, is sharing a pipe with the other big green boxes and so on.

Adding more "width" to the pipe is a reasonably simple task, and a responsible cable company would be working their asses off to ensure the pipes are wide enough where the bottleneck occurs.

You get shared pipes with DSL exactly the same way you do with cable, the real difference is in the network architecture; rather than sharing a small subnet with your neighbors, you're sharing a really really big subnet with everyone within 5km of the switching office. It makes for a higher minimum speed, but a lower maximum, and my experience with cable (I don't have personal experience with DSL, so this isn't an x is better than y argument) is that it's scaled quite well in my neighborhood.

posted by cCranium at 6:52 AM on December 15, 2000

After the DSL companies had been running the "bandwidth thief" ads for a while, the Cable companies got together and were just about to ask the FTC to investigate for false advertising, when the DSL companies took the better part of valor and stopped running those ads.

It's all baloney.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:52 AM on December 15, 2000

'Cept up here in Canada. Well, in Ontario at least, but they're being aired on national channels. There's a series of commercials about a guy who bought his entire neighborhood because he didn't want his cable speed hurt.

Annoying, and if I wasn't so damn cheap, I'd order DSL just so I could cancel it.
posted by cCranium at 8:51 AM on December 15, 2000

Indeed. The "you're not sharing your bandwidth" ads from the DSL providers were always just about to be the feature story in the next issue of "Things that Piss me Off" magazine.
posted by baylink at 9:07 AM on December 15, 2000

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