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November 10, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:01pm


By CBR Staff Writer

America Online Inc’s three-way deal with WorldCom Inc to acquire the 2.6 million subscribers base of CompuServe Corp (CI No 3,242) has received anti-trust clearance from the Department of Justice. The DOJ has informed AOL that it is allowing the statutory waiting period required for the transaction to expire without seeking additional information. The deal faced an anti-trust probe from the DOJ and New York State, which were concerned with whether it left AOL with the ability to unilaterally raise prices to consumers and whether WorldCom would have an unfair advantage among businesses supplying network service to online service providers (CI No 3,243). The terms of the proposed transaction will see H&R Block Inc sell the CompuServe online service to WorldCom, which will keep the network service infrastructure and pass on the Interactive Services Division and $175m in cash to AOL in exchange for AOL’s network business, ANS Communications. Now that the anti-trust concerns are out of the way, the closing of the deal is still subject to completion of foreign regulatory review and the approval of CompuServe shareholders. AOL expects final closing during the first calendar quarter of 1998.

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