How MicroHoo can avoid the fate of AOL-Time Warner

One thing was certain on almost every story I covered in the late 1990s as the Internet policy reporter for Reuters in Washington D.C. No matter what the controversy, the cable television industry would be on one side, led by Time Warner, and Internet companies would be lined up on the opposite side, invariably led by America Online. The very biggest dust-up was over “open access,” or the notion that the government should require cable companies to let other internet service providers access customers via their emerging broadband cable networks — just like the government required of the telephone companies. The fight was lengthy and bitter. But when Steve Case and Gerald Levin famously unveiled their almost $200 billion megamerger, it looked like the war was over. I even appeared on CNN with Judy Woodruff and said so. Oops.

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