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ZDNet: Lesser of two evils: MS or AOL?

Jul 28, 2000, 15:42 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mary Jo Foley)

"When it comes to owning it all -- content, infrastructure and pipes -- which company would likely be the lesser of two evils: America Online or Microsoft? On Thursday, with the Federal Communications Commission's hearings in Washington on AOL's proposed takeover of Time Warner, all eyes are on the "other" Evil Empire, AOL."

"Surprise, surprise. AOL's competitors, including Walt Disney Co., NBC and Microsoft, think the AOL-Time Warner merger is a bad idea. In today's Washington Post, Disney lobbyist Preston Padden is quoted as saying: "Bill Gates on his best day never dreamed of having this much power and control. All he has is an operating system. These people (AOL) are going to have the pipes, the content, the applications, the hardware and the operating system."

"With the growing number of mega-mergers on the table, it seems almost inevitable that our cyber-futures will be dictated by a handful of monopolists. While it's a nice pipe dream to think that a white knight, like Sun's StarOffice unit, will swoop in and keep customer choice alive, such a possibility is pretty iffy."

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