Ofcom turns up heat on James Murdoch
News Corporation faces the loss of its UK satellite TV broadcasting license as a result of a phone hacking scandal affecting the firm’s newspaper business.
Regulator Ofcom has confirmed it is investigating the company – which holds a 39.14% stake in broadcaster BSkyB -, and its chief executive James Murdoch to establish if they remain “fit and proper” persons to own the satellite firm’s broadcast license.
The disclosure was made following a Freedom of Information request to Ofcom from the Financial Times. The regulator states it has a duty under various laws “to be satisfied that any person holding a broadcasting license is, and remains, fit and proper to do so.”
Ofcom’s statement adds that it will continue to assess fresh evidence in the newspaper hacking scandal to inform its decision. A separate information sheet clarifies that investigation is not within the remit of the regulator, and that Ofcom “cannot and should not act whilst allegations are unsubstantiated.”
Murdoch finally bowed to pressure to quit his role as executive chairman of News International late February, amid a continuing investigation into phone hacking by journalists at several of the group’s newspapers. However, he remains steadfast in his desire to remain chairman of parent firm News Corporation, the Guardian reports.