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Shareholders Sue News Corp. as Hacking Scandal Widens

Jul 11, 2011  •  Post A Comment

As the U.K. phone-hacking scandal widens in the wake of the closure of tabloid paper News of the World, a group of News Corp. shareholders has filed a lawsuit against the company, USA Today reports.

“The lawsuit accuses News Corp. of large-scale governance failures surrounding the British hacking case,” the story reports. “News of the World employees have been accused of hacking into the phone of a missing 13-year-old girl, who was later found murdered, as well as those of other crime victims.”

The suit was filed Friday in Delaware, with Amalgamated Bank in a lead role, joined by municipal and union pension funds, among others.

According to the story: “The lawsuit is part of an amended complaint that was filed this year. The shareholders are also challenging News Corp.’s acquisition of Shine Group, founded by the daughter of News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. The suit says that Rupert Murdoch ‘habitually uses News Corp. to enrich himself and his family members at the company’s and its public shareholders’ expense.’"

Meanwhile, the hacking scandal is widening, with former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and members of the royal family among those who were reportedly targeted by staff members of News International, the British newspaper wing of Murdoch’s media empire, according to various reports.

Murdoch’s attempt to buy U.K. satellite company BSkyB has also been caught up in the scandal, with the acquisition being referred to Britain’s competition commission for review. U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Parliament that a decision on the purchase will now take at least six months.

Scotland Yard, the lead agency in the investigation into phone-hacking and corruption allegations at News of the World, also got in on the act, issuing an unusual statement today condemning what it called a deliberate attempt by the company to undermine the probe, according to reports.

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