News Corp. has ended its bid to acquire 61 percent of British Sky Broadcasting, one more by-product of the phone-hacking scandal that has besieged the media company, with a statement from COO Chase Carey admitting that “it is too difficult to progress.” But even with this news, the company is facing increased pressures from all sides.
A London-based analyst quoted in the Bloomberg story, Sam Hart, called this a “politically toxic environment” for the company, making the bid untenable.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under fire from Parliament for his relationship with Andy Coulson, his former comms director and the former News of the World editor who was arrested last week. Cameron has ordered inquiries into the relationships between politicians and the press and, specifically, into the phone-hacking scandal. Rupert Murdoch has been asked to speak before Parliament.
On this side of the pond, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) has called for an investigation into any wrongdoing that may have occurred in the U.S. There are now allegations of bribery and possible phone hacking by NotW reporters seeking info about families of 9/11 victims.
The business crisis, and the PR crisis, for News Corp. continues.