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March 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

OFCOM, Britain’s official television regulator, is considering the possibility of yanking the license that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp holds to operate BSkyB as its controlling owner, the London Financial Times reported today (Friday). OFCOM is also assessing the question of whether James Murdoch should be allowed to continue to head the satellite broadcaster, according to the newspaper, which said that it had obtained the information for its report through a Freedom of Information filing. The regulator is reportedly looking into the question of whether News Corp in general and the younger Murdoch in particular are “fit and proper” owners of BSkyB. News of the probe comes amid ever-expanding public inquiries into what a Scotland Yard official recently called a “culture” of bribery and telephone hacking at News International, the News Corp division that oversees the company’s newspapers in the U.K. The outcome of the OFCOM investigation could also be influential in the U.S., where News Corp is based. 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.” News Corp owns 27 television stations in the U.S.