AT&T, Comcast Fight Access to AOL Deal


AT&T Corp. and Comcast Corp. are resisting calls for them to reveal
the terms of their high-speed-data carriage deal with AOL Broadband.

In a Sept. 13 filing, AT&T and Comcast told the Federal Communications
Commission the terms of the deal are irrelevant to the FCC's review of the
merger between AT&T Broadband and Comcast and, therefore, they need not be

EarthLink Inc., an Internet-service provider, and various consumer groups
urged the FCC to require AT&T and Comcast to disclose the AOL Broadband
carriage terms.

At the request of FCC staff, AT&T and Comcast have submitted additional
details about the restructuring of Time Warner Entertainment on a confidential
basis, but they have not revealed more about the AOL deal.

AT&T and Comcast said the deal with America Online Inc. would expand
consumer choice in the selection of broadband ISPs and it represented a
marketplace solution that the FCC and cable critics have been demanding to see

'Far from harming the public interest, the agreement
benefits consumers by permitting [AT&T and Comcast] to offer increased ISP
choice to approximately 10 million homes,' the two companies said in the FCC