Time Warner Head Gerald Levin Testifies on Merger With AOL Before Senate Judiciary CommitteeAired February 29, 2000 - 1:46 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN ANCHOR: The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings at this hour on the proposed merger of America Online and Time Warner, the parent company of this network. Some on Capitol Hill had expressed concern about the market power of the combined company. Let's listen in.
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GERALD LEVIN, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, TIME WARNER: ... opportunity to speak to you about the planned merger of Time Warner and AOL, and obviously both of us will be happy to answer your questions.
I know our merger announcement came as a surprise to many, and the truth is, for such a large transaction, it was worked out in a remarkably-short period of time. Even more remarkable, while I'm sure such challenges don't exist here in Washington, we avoided any leaks.
And from my perspective, the AOL-Time Warner merger was not a bolt from the blue but actually the fulfillment of almost three decades in the media business, because I began my career with the quixotic hope, or so it seemed at the time, of using cable television to overthrow the stranglehold the broadcast triopolopy had on television. When you add mavericks like Ted Turner, as well as myself, we believe that the real power of television would only be unleashed when it become a medium driven by consumer choice with programing alternatives that went far beyond what simply three advertising-supported networks could deliver.
And the success of that once-radical notion, I think, is reflected in today's premier pay television networks, like Home Box Office, and the lineup of services that we have on our cable systems of hugely-popular networks, such as CNN, Disney -- I'll repeat that -- Disney, Discovery, ESPN, Nickelodeon, CNBC; obviously, the list is very long.
And although we never claimed that this early experience with cable gave us a clairvoyant glimpse of the Internet, it was in fact profoundly formative for us because we were left with the conviction that we barely touched the potential of technology to empower viewers to become their own programmers with no limits, no limits on their options, possessed...
LISOVICZ: You've been listening to Gerald Levin, the chairman and CEO of Time Warner, the parent company of this network, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the proposed merger between Time Warner and American Online.
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