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AOL Time Warner, Vivendi Universal Accused Of Conspiring To Fix Prices - 2001-07-31

U.S. antitrust authorities have accused AOL Time Warner and Vivendi Universal of conspiring to fix prices on compact disks, audio cassettes and videotapes of the "Three Tenors."

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officials said Warner Communications and Vivendi's predecessor Polygram Music Group were wrong when they agreed not to offer discounts on earlier products in advance of the release of a 1998 concert recording of the opera superstars.

FTC officials said the recording companies made the agreement out of fear the recording of the 1998 performance by Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo would not sell as well as earlier recordings.