Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has outbid Viacom to acquire US TV station owner Chris-Craft Industries and its subsidiaries for $5.35bn.
News Corp will pay about $85 a share for Chris-Craft, which owns 10 television stations, and its BHC Communications and United Television subsidiaries. However the deal faces major regulatory hurdles as it would push News Corp's Fox network over current limits on station ownership.
The deal follows Viacom's announcement on Friday (August 11) that it had ended takeover talks with Chris-Craft. Viacom, which owns the CBS network, also recently assumed full control of the much smaller UPN network when it bought out Chris-Craft's 50% share.
BHC, in which Chris-Craft has an 80% stake, operates six very high frequency television stations and four ultra high frequency television stations. BHC has a 58% stake in United Television.
The Fox network, which owns 22 stations, already reaches the current cap of 35% of the US television audience. However US regulatory body the Federal Communications Commission could change the rules under lobbying pressure from the US' major broadcasters. Viacom is already over the 35% limit now that its acquisition of CBS is complete.