EU to Rule on AOL-Time Warner Deal Wednesday

The European Commission will rule on the merger of America Online with Time Warner on Wednesday, a commission official said Monday.

The 20 European commissioners meet each Wednesday to vote on the biggest issues of the week. Competition experts consulted by the commissioners in Brussels and in the 15 member states have indicated they are ready to clear the deal.

The commission is coming to the end of a four-month in-depth probe into the merger, and is expected to approve the deal with conditions attached. The likeliest condition to be attached is for AOL to sever its link with German media group Bertelsmann AG in their 50-50 joint venture AOL Europe, according to Brussels-based lawyers specializing in EU competition law.

Another likely condition is a similar severing of ties between AOL and Vivendi SA in AOL France.

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