While Scotland Yard was investigating allegations that News of the World reporters were snooping in subject’s voice mails, the reporters hacked the investigators, the Times reported. The paper allegedly procured damning details about prominent investigators–like marital indiscretion and unethically used frequent flier miles–which later appeared in other publications. We’re no lawyer but isn’t that blackmail-y?
Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch did what everyone predicted and backed off the $12 Billion BSkyB deal, offering to submit to an examination by an independent mergers and acquisitions analysts the Competition Commission. Most interpret the move as a play to buy time, dodging the Labour Party’s request for an emergency opposition vote. By the time they get around to approving, his papers might have bought themselves another election!
This is phone-hacking scandal number two for News Corp. board member Thomas Perkins, although last time he was on the victim side, reports Crains. When he was on the board of Hewlett-Packard, his residential phone records were obtained by other HP board members trying to uncover who was leaking to the press, leading to the resignation of HP Chairman Patricia Dunn.
Even if BSkyB falls through, will the News of the World fall out enough to significantly damage News Corp.? It’s lost $7 billion, or 15%, of its market value over the past four days, reports Bloomberg.