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Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has further boosted its stake in German pay TV operator Premiere to 25.01%, bringing it closer to the 30% threshold, above which it would be required to make a full buyout offer. News Corp. bought a 14.58% stake in Premiere in early January, then increased it to 19.9% in late February and to 22.7% in early April.

CUT FOR DIS, BOOST FOR DISC

Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield downgraded his rating on Disney shares from "buy" to "neutral," citing limited stock upside potential and investors' belief that the company's theme parks are recession-proof. Pointing to the weaker-than-hoped opening weekend for "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," he also suggested that "studio performance over the next six to nine months could be more challenging than we had expected." Meanwhile, Greenfield boosted his 2008 financial estimates for Discovery Holding, citing the firm's strong first-quarter results. The analyst has a "buy" rating and $35 price target on the stock.

INFLATION HITS AOL TW

Federal regulators said Monday that eight former executives of AOL Time Warner fraudulently inflated the company's online advertising revenue by more than $1 billion from 2000-02. Four of the execs agreed to settle the civil charges brought by the U.S. SEC by paying about $8 million.
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