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Paramount bid

QVC, the US home-shopping company, seized the advantage in the battle for Paramount when it upped its bid from dollars 9.5bn ( pounds 6.5bn) to dollars 10.8bn on Friday, according to US analysts. They said the higher offer - of dollars 90 in cash per share - would give QVC a powerful argument in its case before a Delaware court this Tuesday, when it will seek to invalidate Paramount's anti-takeover provisions. Rival Viacom may now have to lift its dollars 85 a share bid.