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July 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

OFCOM, Britain’s equivalent to the FCC, has notified Parliament that it plans to look into the question of whether News Corp remains a “fit and proper” licensee for BSkyB. Noting that News Corp’s 39.1-percent stake in BSkyB gives it “material influence” over the company, the largest commercial broadcaster in Britain, OFCOM said it has been consulting with police about their ongoing investigation of News Corp’s handling of the telephone hacking scandal. Should News Corp executives be convicted of wrongdoing in the current scandal, its U.S. licenses could also be affected. In the 1980s, the FCC yanked the licenses of stations owned by RKO General after it determined that the parent company had engaged in “anticompetitive and possibly illegal” reciprocal trade practices. The commission noted that while “this misconduct was not directly related to RKO’s broadcasting activities … such non-broadcast misconduct called into question the character qualifications of the licensee and its ability to serve the public interest.”