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Court's ruling may bring a bidding war for FNN


NEW YORK -- A bankruptcy judge left the door open yesterday for a bidding war for the troubled Financial News Network Inc.

Federal Judge Francis G. Conrad in Manhattan upheld General Electric Co.'s contract to acquire FNN for $105 million, but he did not rule out a new bid from Dow Jones & Co. and Westinghouse Broadcasting Co. or another party.

In a surprise move on Feb. 26, FNN agreed to the GE deal, after weeks of negotiations on a $90 million joint offer from Dow Jones and Westinghouse.

The judge yesterday said a new bid would have to be at least $115 million, or $25 million more than the initial joint offer by Dow Jones and Westinghouse. He also approved a $10 million "topping fee," meaning that another bidder must offer at least $10 million more than General Electric's existing offer.

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