ICast Joins AOL-Time Warner Fray

BOSTON (04/26/2000) - Internet entertainment company iCast Corp. has joined the protests against the merger of America Online Inc. (AOL) and Time Warner Inc., arguing in a filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday that the merger would allow AOL to increase its dominance in instant messaging.

Arguing that the instant messaging market should be open so that users of software from different vendors are able to communicate with each other online, iCast notes in its filing that its iCaster software is designed to operate with AOL's Instant Messenger, but that AOL has taken steps to keep the software from interoperating.

The Woburn, Massachusetts-based iCast further contends that AOL does not live up to its claims to be an open-standards advocate because it refuses to participate with other companies in achieving standards. AOL should be forced to follow its pledge to support standards before the merger is approved, iCast said in the filing, as detailed in a statement yesterday from iCast.

Consumer groups today petitioned the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in an effort to block the proposed merger on the grounds that it would be harmful to consumers -- a point also made by iCast. [See "Consumer Groups to Protest AOL-Time Warner Deal," April 25.] iCast, in Woburn, can be reached at http://www.icast.com/.

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More about America OnlineAOLFCCFederal Communications CommissionFederal Trade CommissionFTCiCastMessengerTime Warner

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