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Capital Cities will buy ABC for $3.5 billion

Jonah swallowed more than the whale last week. He also gulped down Dynasty, Hotel, Good Morning America, Monday Night Football, the 1988 Winter Olympics and Ted Koppel. It was as simple as, well, ABC. In the first purchase ever of a major television network, small and scrappy Capital Cities Communications (1984 revenues: less than $1 billion) of New York City agreed to buy the American Broadcasting Cos., which is almost four times its size. The price, $3.5 billion for ABC's 29.1 million common shares, made the acquisition the largest outside the oil industry in American corporate history. The razzle-dazzle play that...

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