WASHINGTON -- Critics of the

AOL

(AOL)

/

Time Warner

(TWX)

deal will get their say in the

House of Representatives

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after all.

At the Wednesday opening of a

House Telecommunications Subcommittee

hearing focusing on the power the companies may possess in interactive TV, Rep. Bill Tauzin, the Louisiana Republican who chairs the subcommittee, promised a second hearing, at which the deal's critics could get to speak. In Wednesday's hearing, the only witnesses scheduled to testify were AOL Chairman Steve Case and Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin. The second hearing most likely will be held Oct. 6, he said.

Democrats had

protested the abbreviated lineup for the Wednesday hearing because it didn't include the companies' competitors or consumer representatives.

Tauzin blamed the lack of other witnesses Wednesday on the demands of dealing with the

Firestone

tire debacle, which has taken up so much time.