Financial Briefs

QVC Network extended its tender offer for 51% of Paramount Communications’ common stock to midnight EST Thursday, Dec. 9. The Delaware Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments that day on Par and Viacom International’s appeal of the Delaware Chancery Court’s Nov. 24 decision favoring QVC. Investors have tendered 1.57 million Paramount shares to QVC, the company said.

Grupo Televisa SA has received a Mexican government concession to operate 62 television channels throughout Mexico, which will form the basis for its fourth national TV network. After the concession, for which Televisa will pay at least $ 92 million, the company will operate 50.7% of all stations transmitting commercially in Mexico, up from 44.7%.

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Victor Co. of Japan said it will launch the world’s first videocassette recorder capable of recording high-definition television broadcasts domestically on Dec. 20. A top JVC official admitted that the 620,000 yen ($ 5,700) pricetag and the scarcity of HDTV broadcasts is likely to limit the market for “W-VHS” at first.

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Bell Atlantic Corp. said it will soon issue a request for quotations for a new video-capable technology platform that will accelerate the development of markets for video and interactive multimedia services. The company said its enhanced network will pass 1.25 million homes by the end of 1995.

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Bell Atlantic Corp. also completed its acquisition of an initial 23% interest in Mexico’s Grupo Iusacell S.A. de C.V., consisting of more than 20.5 million shares of newly issued Iusacell stock, which Bell Atlantic purchased for $ 520 million. Bell Atlantic plans to invest up to $ 1.04 billion for a 42% economic interest in Iusacell. Bell Atlantic will buy the balance of its Iusacell stake from the Peralta family, which controls the telecommunications company.

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Pacific Bell and the State of California are testing a new custom virtual network service. The company said if the ongoing test is successful, it eventually could be used to integrate the state’s offices into a single network.

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USA Direct, the TV unit of direct mail marketer Fingerhut Companies Inc., is considering launching a 24-hour home-shopping channel. USA Direct, a 2-year-old company, will become separately managed in 1994.

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Ing. C. Olivetti & C. SpA has formed a new telecommunications and multimedia division. The company said the new division would oversee development of the telecommunications services sector, particularly in wireless communications; development of new information and multimedia services; and management of existing telecommunications and multimedia activities and companies.

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Atari Corp. shares are off sharply following CNBC correspondent Dan Dorfman’s report on a money manager’s bearish view on the company. Amy Newmark, of Information Age Partners, which has shorted the stock, thinks Atari could earn 16 cents a share in 1994 and 20 cents in 1995, according to Dorfman.

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