Monday, July 11, 2011

Scandal may jeopardize Murdoch’s purchase of British Sky Broadcasting

The phone hacking crisis has jeopardized Murdoch’s $19 billion deal to take full control of satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.
British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is responsible for dealing with the proposed bid, said he would seek advice as to whether the scandal raises questions over whether News Corp. is “fit and proper” to hold a broadcasting license.
Shares in British Sky Broadcasting dropped sharply Monday amid doubts over the company’s ability to take full control of the lucrative satellite broadcaster. Murdoch owns 39 per cent of the broadcaster, but wants to buy the rest.
The opposition Labour Party also turned up the pressure. Its leader, Ed Miliband, is working to force a vote in the House of Commons on a motion asking the government to delay a decision on BSkyB.
The 80-year-old Murdoch, the News Corp. CEO, has publicly backed News International’s chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, who led News of the World when its reporters committed some of the most egregious ethical lapses.

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