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The Standard: AOL Will Offer IM-Sharing Plan

Jun 15, 2000, 14:47 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aaron Pressman)

"America Online (AOL) will offer an architectural plan on Thursday that would eventually allow instant-messaging systems from competing services to interconnect with AOL's proprietary service, as the online giant moves to head off criticism that has drawn the attention of antitrust regulators reviewing its merger with Time Warner (TWX)."

"Competitors ranging from big players like Microsoft (MSFT) and AT&T (T) to smaller players like iCast and Tribal Voice have been hammering AOL for months for its refusal to allow people using other products to trade instant messages with its users. They charge that AOL is simply trying to keep a lock on the market and block competition."

"The issue has taken on renewed urgency for AOL as rivals complaining of anticompetitive practices on AOL's part have gotten the attention of regulators at the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission who are reviewing the Time Warner deal."

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