Times Staff and Wire Reports

Time Warner Responds to US West Suit: In a legal counterclaim, Time Warner Inc. accused US West Inc. of deliberately misleading the media-entertainment conglomerate in negotiating their 2 1/2-year-old partnership. The filing contends that US West unfairly blocked the partnership from striking promising new alliances with cable and telecommunications companies because the ventures would compete with the phone company. The legal papers were filed late Wednesday in Delaware in response to a lawsuit by US West last month to block Time Warner's proposed $7.5-billion acquisition of Turner Broadcasting System Inc. The regional phone company said its 1993 agreement to invest $2.5 billion for a 25% stake in a partnership that owns Time Warner's cable TV systems, HBO pay television service and Warner Bros. studio forbids Time Warner from buying competing businesses on its own. Time Warner disagreed, saying the partnership pact specifically permits it to buy Turner. A clause in the agreement between Time Warner and Turner gives both companies the right to call off the merger if the US West lawsuit is still pending.

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