Authors: Joshua Cohan
(LONDON) -- A scathing report from a British parliamentary committee probing phone hacking and other alleged abuses at News Corp. asserts that CEO Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to run an international company.
The report is worrying for Murdoch because the committee used the very words from the British Broadcast Act that are used to determine suitability of ownership of a TV license. Murdoch already controls 40 percent of Sky TV in Britain and had wanted to take over the whole company.
That venture had profit of $1.7 billion in 2011 and now Murdoch may be forced to give it all up.
The committee wouldn’t say whether his son James misled Parliament, but it slammed his disengaged leadership, accusing him of “willful blindness.”
The committee said three News Corp. executives misled them under oath. Among them is Colin Myler, former News of the World editor and now editor of the New York Daily News.
The Murdochs and or their top executives could be called to face accusations of misleading Parliament.
The Tories voted for much of the report’s damning conclusions, but voted against the “fit person” censure. News Corp. may grasp this “partisan” division as evidence that it is about politics, not their behavior.
All of this has implications for Murdoch’s U.S. and worldwide holdings, which includes the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. The FBI is already investigating News Corp for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
“It’s a sad thing but he is finished, he is over. I think now of Mr. Murdoch in the past tense,” conservative media columnist Peter Oborne of The Telegraph told ABC News last week.
News Corp. stock traded at $19.59 a share shortly after the Nasdaq’s open in New York on Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week low is $13.38, and its high is $20.40.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio