DEVIL’S HAIRCUT: Rupert Murdoch Drops Bid For Total Ownership Of BSkyB, Which Would Have Made Him More Powerful Than You Could Possibly Imagine


NATIONAL JOURNAL: At the center of a firestorm over alleged phone-hacking, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation announced Wednesday that it is dropping its bid to buy the share of Britain’s primary satellite TV broadcaster that it does not already own. The dropped bid comes a day after a U.S. Senator encouraged officials to look into whether the scandal affected any Americans. News Corp.’s stock has been hammered by the widening scandal, shaving billions of dollars off of the company’s market capitalization. Shares in the company have plummeted from $18.13 per share right before the first reports of the phone hacking and potential bribery surfaced to $15.55 so far today, a decline of more than 14%.  The drop has cut the company’s market valuation by more than $9 billion, and many analysts expect its stock to drop further in the coming days because of how important the purchase of British Sky Broadcasting Group, which News Corp. abandoned Wednesday morning, had been to its overall business strategy. MORE

NEWS CORP: News Corporation (“News Corp”) announces that it no longer intends to make an offer for the entire issued and to be phone_tap_cropped.jpgissued share capital of British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC (“BSkyB”) not already owned by it.Chase Carey, Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation, commented: “We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate. News Corporation remains a committed long-term shareholder in BSkyB. We are proud of the success it has achieved and our contribution to it.”

RELATED: The phone-hacking scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s media empire intensified in the United States Wednesday as three senators urged the Justice Department to investigate whether one of Murdoch’s U.S.-based companies violated federal anti-bribery and other laws. A fourth senator told CNN he is considering launching his own investigation into the spreading scandal. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calfornia, sent letters to Attorney General Eric Holder asking Holder to look into concerns that News Corp. — the parent company of Fox News — violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, known as the FCPA. The law, enacted in 1977, makes it illegal for a U.S. person or company to pay foreign officials to obtain or retain business. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, also wrote to Holder, asking him to examine whether journalists working for Murdoch tapped into the phones of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. MORE

RELATED: Mike Koehler, an assistant professor of business law at Butler University, told Thomson Reuters that the fact that News Corp was a US-listed company meant “there is clearly jurisdiction for both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission” to pursue the company for FCPA transgressions. He added that the Department of Justice was responsible for enforcing the criminal anti-bribery provision of the 34-year-old statute, while the SEC conducted probes related to its books and records provision. “Given what is known and the extraordinary media coverage, I would be very surprised if the Department of Justice does not open up, at least informally, an investigation. In fact there have been numerous [FCPA] enforcement actions in recent years against US-listed companies involving distant subsidiaries that paid bribes outside US borders,” he said. MOREphone_tap_cropped.jpg

ELLIOTT SPITZER: Much more importantly, the facts already pretty well established in Britain indicate violations of American law, in particular a law called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Justice Department has been going out of its way to undertake FCPA prosecutions and investigations in recent years, and the News Corp. case presents a pretty simple test for Attorney General Eric Holder: If the department fails to open an immediate investigation into News Corp.’s violations of the FCPA, there will have been a major breach of enforcement at Justice. MORE

RELATED: To let the Department of Justice and the SEC know that you demand accountability for News Corp. sign onto Think Progress’ open letter demanding as much HERE.

RELATED: Bancroft Family Members Express Regrets at Selling Wall Street Journal to Murdoch

PREVIOUSLY: Murdoch Used Tabloid Harrassment To Punish Politicians Like A Shock Collar On A Disobedient Dog

PREVIOUSLY: Rupert Murdoch Pulls The Plug On News Of The World As Phone-Hacking Scandal Goes Defcon 1

PROPUBLICA: Our Reader’s Guide To The Phone Hacking Scandal

RELATED: Complete List Of Voicemail Hacking Victims So Far

RELATED: Anatomy Of The Phone-Hacking Scandal


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PREVIOUSLY: Fox News Invented By Nixon White House Felons


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