A Question of Value

Barry Diller wins a crucial court victory, but has the bidding battle made Paramount overpriced?

The meeting crackled with all the tension of a scene from Barbarians at the Gate. Two months before the battle for Paramount Communications lit up Hollywood and Wall Street this fall, Paramount chairman Martin Davis summoned Barry Diller to a lunch at Paramount headquarters in New York City. The two men had rarely spoken since Davis forced out Diller as head of Paramount's film studio a decade ago. Now Davis demanded to know whether Diller's QVC shopping network was planning a takeover bid for Paramount. Diller none-too- ingenuously denied it. According to Diller, Davis then ended the meal by shouting out,...

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