Are the '80s Back?

Wall Street revels in the battle for Paramount, but it could be the only hostile megadeal for quite some time

Watch a giant takeover brawl unfold before your eyes! Marvel at the clash of colossal egos! Gasp at the gyrating stock prices! Not since the 1980s has Wall Street so unabashedly savored a fight as it did the one that broke out last week for filmmaker Paramount Communications. With a bid from Viacom Inc. valued at $7.5 billion already on the table, QVC shopping-network chairman Barry Diller unveiled a staggering $9.5 billion counteroffer. Paramount stockholders could almost be heard sighing at the thought of their potential profits. In a counterassault with personal overtones, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone fired back with an...

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