"The Federal Communications Commission could force America
Online Inc. to open its instant-messaging service to rivals as a
condition of approving its merger with Time Warner."
"The FCC also has concluded the agency should press Time Warner
to open its high-speed cable lines to rivals beyond the extent to
which the companies already have consented, the newspaper said,
citing people who had been briefed on the regulator's review of the
"Under one FCC staff proposal, AOL would have to open its
popular instant-messaging services, which allows users to swap
messages with other users in real-time, either after six months
following the FCC approval or as soon as AOL lets its two services,
AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ, interact."