AOL-Time Warner and Instant Messenger?

IIRC one of the stipulations in the AOL-Time Warner merger was that the AOL Instant Messenger had to be compatible with all the other Instant Messengers like the Microsoft and Yahoo ones. Is that right? and if so when is the new IM going to be released?


There was an article on Wired that covers alot of this, but I wasn’t able to find it.

Anyway, my understanding is that the provision was not that AIM had to be compatible, but that they had to show their source code to all the other IM developers. (I could be wrong about this though)

Apparently this provision isn’t working out, though, because Microsoft and Yahoo and a few other groups have complained that there is no chance that AOL is going to be forced to follow this provision.

So, Microsoft, Yahoo and all the other Instant Messengers (except AIM) are working on developing an IM system that will be compatible with everyone (except AOL) and that it will be open source.

They (AOL) don’t have to open the source code to AIM either as Starbury suggested. All that the FCC required with respect to IMs was that if, in the future AOL decides to release “advanced, IM-based high-speed services” that include streaming video, over the TW cable lines, that the system will have to be compatible with at least one other providers system.

So, they only have to open things up in the future if they decide to turn AIM into a sorta IM-video conferencing thingy using TWs cable. How likely do you think it is that that will happen?

Here’s a link to the FCC public announcement of the conditions of the merger appoval:

If anyone’s still interested…

This is the article I was referring to.

MinkMan was right. It should also be pointed out that the court’s requirement isn’t enforceable after 5 years. So AOL conceivably could develop the video-conferencing (or whatever the restrictions are) in 2006, and they won’t have to allow for compatability.