By: Staff Reports

Companies Say Deal Will Close This Fall

(The Hollywood Reporter) Speculation that the European Union is planning to block the pending $120 billion merger of America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. forced the companies to issue a statement this week insisting that their deal is “on track to close in fall.”

“We are totally comfortable with where we are at this stage of negotiations,” AOL and Time Warner said in a joint statement. “We have made excellent progress and are confident the talks will end successfully.” The companies said the talks taking place in Brussels, Belgium, are a “normal part of process with the EU.”

European media reports Monday said European antitrust regulators are preparing to block the merger after AOL and Time Warner offered too few concessions to ease concerns about the likely market dominance of the new company. But a spokesman for EU competition commissioner Mario Monti said the reports are purely speculative, adding that it is too early for regulators to have formulated their final position on the merger.

Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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