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(July 23, 2001) -- Walt Disney Co. is in serious negotiations to purchase News Corp.'s Fox Family Channel, Electronic Media reports today, for a likely price between $5 billion and $5.5 billion. In the most recent discussions between Disney and Fox, the Fox Kids Network would likely be excluded from the deal.

An acquisition could be announced as soon as this week, according to those familiar with the situation, though one executive cautioned at press time that the deal was still "in process" and not "totally closed."

Spokespeople at Disney and at Disney's ABC Cable Networks Group declined comment, as did a News Corp. spokeswoman.

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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