After much public criticism over its phone-hacking scandal with British tabloid, News of the World, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) has withdrawn its bid for British Sky Broadcasting (PINK:BSYBY), the largest pay-television broadcaster in Great Britain. The planned $12 billion takeover would have been the largest News Corp. acquisition to date. News Corp. still owns 39% of BSkyB.
British Prime Minister David Cameron came under fire for his close relationships with some of the journalists who have been linked to the the phone-hacking scandal. Acting to save his reputation, Cameron said that he would support a motion to deny News Corp.’s (NASDAQ:NWSA) acquisition of BSkyB, which would have been put to a vote today. He also said he would launch an investigation into the possibility that News of the World hacked the phones of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Cameron has gotten a lot of heat for having hired Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor who was arrested last week in connection with the phone-hacking scandal, as his communication director. Coulson resigned in January as the details of the scandal began coming to light. Cameron, a member of the Conservative Party, has faced the most criticism from members of the opposing Labour Party, including its head, Ed Milibrand, who has called on Cameron to “publish the fullest account” of his “catastrophic error of judgment” in hiring Coulson.