[JDEV] Thoughts on AOL Time Warner

Eric Warmenhoven warmenhoven at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 11 17:21:12 CDT 2001

On Thu, Jun 07, 2001 at 03:47:43PM -0500, Emswiler, Mike wrote:
> Has anyone tried to actually sue AOL Time Warner for monopolistic practices
> with respect to their Instant Messaging products and tactics?
> I mean, with AOL *and* ICQ, and their constant changing of AIM protocol to
> defeat interoperability, it sounds like it would be a sure win.

I disagree. AOL could say that they still allow clients to connect via TOC,
claim that it's an open protocol (which it mostly is, aside from a few
changes that they've made since the last documentation was published), and
claim that it can be used to sign on to both AIM and ICQ (which it can).

However, if Jabber were using TOC and they were still blocking Jabber, then
you might have more of a case. But you'd still have to prove they had a
monopoly on IM, which they don't.

Besides, having a monopoly isn't a crime. Abusing a monopoly to push other
products is. And they're not forcing AIM users to use AOL, they're just
forcing AIM users to view AOL ads.

> MikeE


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