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Pressure Mounts Under News Corp, Threatens Acquisition of BSkyB

A phone hacking scandal continues to rock the house of Rupert Murdoch, sending shares of News Corp. plummeting as well as those of its acquisition target BSkyB.

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation
Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation

A series of confusing headlines may have led to some false conclusions.

News Corp. is continuing in its pursuit of the 60 percent of BSkyB it doesn't already own, but has withdrawn previously made commitments to spin off Sky News in order to get approval for the transaction.

That approval will now go through the more typical channel of getting approval from Britain's competition committee.

While the possible deal has been delayed from closing, the hope is News Corp. will now be able to sidestep the "fit and proper test" it would have had to undergo in favor of the more proper protocol. As well, it was becoming apparent that the previous track towards approval would likewise stretch on for months given the reluctance of U.K. politicians to greenlight the deal in the current environment.

BSkyB shares are off their lows, but have still been crushed as it has become clear at the least that this deal won't close, if it does, until some time next year.


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