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TCI & MICROSOFT TEAM UP FOR NEW ON-LINE VENTURE
Published December 22, 1994
"In a deal that solidifies the ties between the most powerful players in cable television and computing," cable operator TCI said that it has invested $125M to acquire a 20% stake in Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming on-line network. "The agreement is likely to hasten efforts by Microsoft and other on- line vendors to offer their services via high-capacity cable TV lines -- and puts TCI in the forefront of the cable industry's efforts to move into new, computer-oriented information businesses," writes Amy Harmon in the L.A. TIMES. Through its Liberty Media affiliate, TCI may also provide programming for The Microsoft Network. Analysts say with the expected development of "broad-band" on-line services, information and entertainment producers "may be quicker to develop products for the on-line medium, and for Microsoft in particular" (L.A. TIMES, 12/22). TCI officials stress their role will essentially be as "passive" investors. They note that TCI intends to carry other on-line services over their cable once the technology is available (Paul Farhi, WASHINGTON POST, 12/22). Microsoft's Bill Gates and TCI's John Malone are described as "two tycoons who aim to dominate the future information highway" (Carlton & Zachary, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/22).