News Corp. abandons plans to buy Britain's BSkyB  The News Corporation's bid to acquire the British media giant British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) has been met with fierce opposition following reports of a phone-hacking scandal that was carried out by the now defunct News of the World newspaper, which was owned by News Corp. According to reports, Rupert Murdoch has abandoned plans to purchase the company amid mounting opposition.

Bloomberg reports that News Corp. officially abandoned its $12.6 billion bid for full control of BSkyB. The news comes on the heels of intensifying scrutiny of News Corp., whose reporters at the News of the World were found to have hacked a number of phones and computers in high-profile cases. What's more, many of the company's reporters were found to have colluded with authorities to obtain classified documents regarding many of the cases.

British officials decried the journalists' moves, and public opposition to the deal began to reach a fever pitch this week as critics argued the company was effectively seeking a dominant share of the nation's media companies. News Corp. owns and operates some of Britain's most popular newspapers, including The Sun and The Sunday Times.

News Corp. does, however, still own 39 percent of the company's stock. It was seeking to gain full control of it through the acquisition, Reuters reports.

The move by News Corp. to abandon its bid for BSkyB came just hours before a planned vote by the U.K. Parliament that would have called on Murdoch to give up on the deal. That vote was supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

With the unprecedented closing of The News of the World, News Corp. lost a potent component in its arsenal of news publications. The paper was the most popular in Britain and accounted for $3.9 billion off News Corp.'s market value.

Murdoch has long wanted a controlling stake in BSkyB as News Corp. prepares to more aggressively pursue its future in the digital realm amid falling newspaper circulations, Gamco Investors portfolio manager Lawrence Haverty affirmed.

"Rupert, once he gets his sights on something, he’s very tenacious, like a bulldog," he said. "But this time, the political mountain was too high and Murdoch decided not to climb it."

News Corp. also owns The Wall Street Journal and the Fox channels in the U.S. Fox News is far and away the most popular cable news channel in the U.S., attracting more viewers than both MSNBC and CNN combined. 
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