AOL/Time Warner Deal Given Ultimatum

Lawyers participating in the mega-merger between America Online and Time Warner have until Oct. 27 to come up with how the new company (AOL Time Warner) will handle access by other Internet Service Providers to the company's high-speed cable network--or the deal may be off.

So far, lawyers for the Federal Trade Commission and those representing AOL Time Warner have failed to work out details, and according to sources, the two sides are not anywhere close to an agreement.

Although AOL Time Warner has reported for some time that they are close to finishing up the details, the government thinks differently. As a result, the FTC is prepared to block the merger on the 27th.

Governments across Europe agreed to the merger last week, once AOL and Time Warner agreed not to work with a German media group that would have presented a monopoly of sorts for European communities.

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