HITS Daily Double


Now with more acronyms!
Watchdog group Consumers Union said Monday AT&T should be told to sell the 25.5% stake in Time Warner it received in a recent merger with MediaOne Group.

The group asked the Federal Trade Commission, the government's consumer protection agency, to investigate links between AT&T and Time Warner and determine whether the two must remove overlapping interests in cable distribution and programming, Reuters reports.

The request was brought to the forefront now as AOL and Time Warner's proposed $124 billion merger is also being scrutinized by the FCC and FTC.

AT&T, the nation's No. 1 cable and long-distance telephone company, acquired the stake in TWE, a unit of Time Warner, with its $50 billion purchase of MediaOne, but one of the conditions of the merger approval was to divest of certain cable assets.

"We think the FTC should require AT&T to sell its interest in Time Warner, or the FTC should require Time Warner to restructure itself so that it and AT&T do not jointly own cable properties as a prerequisite of its merger with America Online," a Consumers Union spokesman said.

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