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AOL Says It Considered Impact of Merger

May 06, 1999|Associated Press

A senior executive of America Online confirmed that early discussions with Netscape Communications over a nearly $10-billion merger were taking place in the months before the Microsoft trial began, and that AOL considered the impact of the deal on the trial's outcome. Barry Schuler, president of AOL's Interactive Services Group, said that the earliest discussion with Netscape started late last summer, and that by the middle of October, AOL had completed a 71-page analysis of the deal. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson previously decided to allow Microsoft to begin gathering evidence about the implications of AOL's recent $9.9-billion purchase of Netscape. The trial is currently in a lengthy recess.

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