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AOL and Time Warner Pledge to Open Cable Systems
Reuters
DULLES, Va. — America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. pledged on Tuesday to open their cable television systems to other Internet service providers after completion of their proposed merger.

The companies said they had signed a memorandum of understanding that set a framework under which they would let customers choose from several Internet service providers, including AOL, on Time Warner's broadband cable systems.

The statement said the memorandum was a "first step" to provide more detail on how the combined companies would put "open access" into effect on their broadband cable systems and give consumers choices in Internet service providers.

AOL, the No. 1 Internet service provider, said last month it would buy Time Warner, the world's biggest media company, for stock in the biggest-ever merger. The value of the deal has swung from a high of $190 billion as the prices of shares have fluctuated and on Monday was worth about $138 billion.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin an afternoon hearing on the deal on Tuesday.

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