EU Clears AOL-Carphone Warehouse Deal

The European Commission on Friday approved the acquisition of America On Line's British Internet access business by Carphone Warehouse Group, seeing no antitrust problems.

The EU antitrust office said it found in sectors where the two companies' activities overlap _ Internet access services and fixed-line phone services _ "the combined entity's share of the relevant market would not give rise to competition concerns," since there remained enough competitors.

Carphone's plans to acquire AOL's British Internet business as part of the reorganization of AOL's overall Internet access business in Britain.

Carphone has more than 1,500 stores across the EU. It sells mobile phones and connections and offers fixed-line telecommunication services to commercial and private customers as well as Internet access to residential customers in Britain and some other EU nations. A wholly-owned Time Warner Inc. subsidiary, AOL provides online services and Internet access in the United States and Europe.

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