Pure and simple as a hammer to the forebrain

     
 

FCC allows AOL Time Warner buy itself into existence.
2001-01-12 06:05:23


Consumers in Action
 
I HATE those pills. They turn my dick orange.
-- Donkey Hotey

 

As yet another tribute to the worthlessness of American politics, AOL gets a big FCC-style thumbs up to its giant monopoly.

The FCC allows America Online to merge with Time Warner today, January 12, 2001, finalizing possibly the largest collusion of greedy media money ever. It has been a year since the proposed monopoly was announced, and with the latest FCC ruling it is now reality. For just over $100 billion, AOL is now responsible for deciding how to fuck you over on cable internet for the new millenium. This will mean more of the same time-honored traditions of AOL such as overselling bandwidth now in the form of cable modem networks instead of telephone lines, overcharge the customer for services they don't really need or could get free somewhere else, and further make individual's computers infected with the virus of AIM, AOL 6.0, and Microsoft Windows.

As part of the FCC's restrictions on the AOL Time Warner monopoly, AOL is forbidden from proxying out Disney material. The FCC didn't make it necessary for AIM to interoperate with Microsoft messaging or excitathome in order for them to release new, proprietary versions of their proprietary instant messaging software. AOL Time Warner is still forced to let little cable modem ISPs "compete" with their services much in the same way that little cable providers somehow "compete" with Time Warner. It is as if the FCC is saying, "OK, little league teams still get to play on the Yankees field, and the Yankees have to let the tee-ballers get a run in before the Yankees go ahead and step in to hit 100 billion consecutive homers."

This will all be fine until AOL completely cuts Disney, Intel, and Microsoft from a share of the money by producing AOL-only cable modem net appliances based on the transmeta crusoe chip. This appliance, undoubtedly called something repetitious like "Instant AOL" will let the home user instantly receive new advertisements for other things they don't need but will be charged for anyway if they cannot remember the password they use when they sign up for said services. Furthermore, it will occupy its own unique IP address, which the cable provider (AOL) will charge extra for instead of supplying users with any sort of linux-based internet router to eliminate the need for three IP addresses to use three different computers with AIM. I find the situation very grim considering the lack of any real ISP competition, with most ISPs already having folded under the weight of big companies like AT&T selling off Tier-1 "Virtual ISP" services in order to falsely rebrand internet service over and over until the end user doesn't know who their money is going to (AOL).

I wouldn't be suprised if AOL sold a brand of cigarettes and frozen french fries in the near future, advertising a 1-800 number to listen to your AIM messages and including a copy of AOL 6.0 as a shrink wrapped CD.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

kunst@pigdog.org


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