The phone-hacking scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch's media empire intensified in the United States Wednesday as a veteran senator urged the Justice Department to investigate whether one of Murdoch's U.S.-based companies violated federal anti-bribery laws.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, sent a letter 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. ...
This is very big news and comes after two other important stories appeared this morning: "Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. drops bid for BSkyB," and "It pays to be Murdoch: Just ask the U.S. government."
As you probably know, News Corps' troubles in Britain began with public and government outrage following the disclosure that a thirteen year-old murdered girl's voicemail had been hacked by News Corps' employees.
A NY Times story of this morning, "In Retreat, Murdoch Drops TV Takeover," is also informative.
Apparently, markets, too, have had it: "Hands Off News Corp. Stock as Scandal Widens."
Murdoch's News Corporation also owns Fox News, which is the subject of Senator Lautenberg's request to Attorney General Holder.
Fox News employs Sarah Palin.
Update: Talk of barring News Corp. from owning any media in Britain. From Bloomberg:
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWSA) needs to do more to atone for misdeeds at his newspapers, lawmakers said after the company dropped its bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. (BSY)
Labour Party lawmaker Chris Bryant said the New York-based company should be barred from owning any media in Britain unless its non-executive directors can prove they took steps to combat practices that triggered what Prime Minister David Cameron called a “firestorm.” ...
Update: The author of "It pays to be Murdoch: Just ask the U.S. government," above, is now peeling his skin back with "How I misread News Corp's taxes: David Cay Johnston."