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Murdoch faces BSkyB investigation

posted 9 Mar 2012, 09:30 by Mpelembe

British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's UK media empire, is facing an escalating investigation by Britain's telecoms regulator.

Business Report  - A year ago Rupert Murdoch's media empire was looking at acquiring all of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Now Britain's telecommunications regulator Ofcom says it has scaled up an investigation into whether Murdoch's company is a "fit and proper" owner of the 39 percent slice of BSkyB it already has.

Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm News International has taken a battering in the past year, sparked by revelations a private investigator working for the News of the World tabloid hacked the mobile phone of a missing school girl who was later found murdered.

The public outcry led to Murdoch abandoning his plan to take full control of BSkyB.

It also helped spark a government inquiry into media practice.

Ofcom says it has set up a dedicated team to monitor developments from that inquiry, and how they might affect BSkyB's broadcasting licence.

Rupert Murdoch's son James remains BSkyB chairman, despite stepping down from a similar role at News International last month.

A report from a separate British parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking is due out before Easter.

That could heap pressure on James Murdoch's position, with one BSkyB shareholder telling Reuters it could attract unwanted attention from Ofcom, in what's already a highly regulated industry.

Andrew Potter, Reuters