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There's a big hullabaloo going on right now about Facebook wanting business owners to merge their new "Places" page with their "Fan" page. The Facebook system is even prompting administrators to do this when you go to "claim" your Facebook Place page so that you can start serving up "deals".
At the moment, the general consensus is that you should NOT merge the two but rather keep them as separate pages for the time being and administer them each separately.
The merge basically migrates your "fans" over to the Places page and makes that your fan page. The design of the Places page is poor in that it detracts from the ease at which your fans can communicate with you. It is much more difficult to interact on the Places page than on your fan page.
You also lose the ability to have custom landing tabs with the new Places page. All those nice graphic messages you had created.... gone. You will end up with a page with a big map at the top and lose a lot of your editing abilities.
It is so bad that people are actually abandoning their "merged" page and starting all over again with a new fan page. That's how much people are not liking the loss of functionality and design capabilities.
Here's an example of a merged page - before and after.
Boomers! Fresno - Before Merge
Boomers! Fresno - After Merge
My advice for now is to go ahead and claim your Places page but, when prompted to merge your Places page with your Fan page, say "No Thanks".
Once you merge them, you can never go back.