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EC Won't Block Carphone Warehouse Bid For AOL Operation

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

11 December 2006


The European Commission announced on Friday that it has cleared, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of the UK internet access business of AOL by the Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW).

Under the proposed transaction, CPW would acquire the UK internet business of AOL, as a result of the reorganisation of AOL's overall internet access business in the UK.

The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

CPW is an independent retailer of mobile communications, with over 1,500 stores in Europe. As well as retailing mobile handsets and mobile connections, CPW is active in the supply of fixed-line telecommunication services to both business and residential customers. It also offers narrowband and broadband internet access services to residential customers in the UK as well as in certain other EU and European countries.

AOL provides online interactive services through a number of brands (for example AOL, MapQuest, AIM, Moviefone, ICQ, and Netscape) as well as internet access services in the US and Europe. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., a worldwide media and entertainment company. In the UK, AOL provides internet access, both narrowband and broadband, and other internet-related services.


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