INFORMATION SERVICES MARKET OPENED TO 'BABY BELLS'

The US Supreme Court has cleared the way for the seven "Baby Bell" companies to enter the lucrative telephone-accessed information services market despite claims that they have unfair competitive advantages.The court, in a two-sentence order, denied Wednesday a request from a group of 23 information service providers and consumer advocates to halt an order from the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia allowing the companies to enter the electronic publishing business. The seven Bell Operating Company subsidiaries had been barred under the consent decree from providing services, including information services, that would give them financial incentive to abuse their telephone monopoly power.

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