Chicago OKs AT&T-Comcast

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The aldermen of the city of Chicago Wednesday approved the transfer of
ownership of their AT&T Broadband franchises to Comcast Corp., but they
conditioned the transfer on issues such as maintenance of current
customer-service levels.

The consumer-complaint level recently has been low, and Chicago cable
administrator Joyce Gallagher believes AT&T Broadband beefed up staffing in
anticipation of the transfer vote. The ordinance aims to prevent
AT&T-Comcast from slacking off postmerger, she added.

Other conditions protect local jobs and require that the venture return for
another transfer approval if it 'tweaks' corporate structuring too much after
the deal closes.

In the Midwest, Denver's City Council decided Monday to delay a vote on the
merger. That approval vote could be resurrected at any time, but it must be
taken up before Aug. 12, according to Dean Smits, director of the office of
telecommunications.

Several council members want more information on capital outlay budgeted for
upgrades. Denver's AT&T Broadband system is 40 percent to 50 percent
upgraded, and local officials want assurances that the local system will have
the support to make a December 2003 deadline for upgrade
completion.

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