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Monday, December 09, 2019

Fox News Parent Company At Risk Of Federal Bribery Charges As Britain’s Biggest Newspaper Publishes Its Last Issue

If media mogul Rupert Murdoch thought that closing The News of the World, Britain’s largest-circulation newspaper, would keep the cops and the press and British politicians from investigating the phone-hacking conspiracy and cover-up that seems to get worse with each day…well, he was wrong.

The abrupt closing at the World — which sold more than 2 million copies every Sunday, and delivered its last issue earlier today — was widely seen as a move to protect former editor Rebekah Brooks and News Corp heir James Murdoch, and possibly brush the scandal away. (Of course, firing hundreds of aggressive tabloid journalists — and making them angry — to deal with a press scandal is a little like disbanding the entire Iraqi army to bring stability to a country.) It probably won’t work: this past week’s arrest of ex-editor and top government official Andy Coulson has emboldened Labor Party politicians who had previously been unwilling to attack the once absurdly influential Murdoch.

Not only is Murdoch’s big, multi-billion purchase of the BSkyB satellite television company at risk — his son, James, a U.S. citizen, could be slapped with American criminal charges. The Guardian points out that recently reported payments to British police officials could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:

The 1977 Act generally prohibits American companies and citizens from corruptly paying – or offering to pay – foreign officials to obtain or retain business.

The Butler University law professor Mike Koehler, an FCPA expert, said: “I would be very surprised if the US authorities don’t become involved in this [NI] conduct.”

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