European Commission Approves AT&T, MediaOne Deal

European Commission has cleared AT&T Corp.'s plan to take over U.S. cable television company MediaOne Group Inc. in a decision announced today.

The authorization follows AT&T's commitment to dispose of MediaOne's interest in the British cable services company Telewest Communications PLC, and recognition that most of the operations covered by the merger concern the U.S. market, according to a Commission statement. As a result, the merger will have minimal impact on competition in the European Union.

The operation is still awaiting a green light from U.S. regulators.

MediaOne is a broadband communications company that in the EU has interests in several cable companies, notably Telewest in the U.K. but also A2000 in the Netherlands and Telenet in Belgium. As a result of these holdings, the AT&T takeover gave rise to some competition concerns due to overlapping services primarily in fixed telephony services in the U.K. and Internet services in Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.K. But the Commission determined that the merger would nevertheless neither create nor strengthen a dominant position in any of these markets.

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