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AOL, Univeral Form Ticket Partnership

Universal Pictures and America Online Inc. this week struck a deal to promote movies and sell tickets online.

AOL's (AOL) deal is the latest in a series of plays made by the Internet service provider, which recently surpassed 22 million registered members. After spending years working to push the online envelope, the giant has inked content deals with brick-and-mortar titans in the past six months, including Wal-Mart, Sears and Blockbuster.

Like the other deals, Universals content will be featured across AOL's community, particularly in its Moviefone section where people may buy film tickets online. The deal comes amid word that several of the nation's largest theater chains are considering the formation of their own online ticket service.

AOL did not return calls seeking comment Friday afternoon.

While most of AOL's recent moves may be pleasant for consumers, the ISP's impending acquisition of Time Warner Inc. (TWI) has some companies, including Walt Disney Co. (DIS), concerned. An article in the Wall Street Journal said Disney executives have met with House and Senate staffers criticizing AOL's practices.

Disney and other companies are worried that the merger will bump their content from AOL's community in favor of Time Warner's content.



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