Meet Steve Case. As a young man, he loved getting mail, his mother remembered. The Washington Post has begun assembling stories about the man who would group up to dominate the media world. But AOL's rise was anything but glorious, according to Newsweek. "Amid all this coverage filled with words like 'merger' and 'content' and 'assets,' it's easy to forget the words most accurately behind AOL's success: 'any bi-curious 18f's in here? wanna trade pics? :-)' "

History will record that Americans didn't let AOL acquire Time-Warner without a fight. The FCC demanded more information on AOL's ongoing refusal to allow its subscribers to receive instant messages from others who weren't using AOL's software. As the U.S. government was penalizing Microsoft for abusing monopoly power, was AOL quietly transforming themselves into an equally scary monopoly?