James Murdoch Tells Sky BSkyB Approval in Hands of U.K.’s Hunt

News Corp. (NWSA) Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch told Sky News in an interview the decision on whether News Corp. is permitted to take over British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc is “in the hands of” Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Murdoch was asked whether News of the World hacking allegations have damaged News Corp.’s chances of getting approval for the BSkyB deal.

“It does take time to deal with those sorts of things, but that timetable is in the hands of the Secretary of State,” Murdoch said.

Murdoch said with regard to the phone hacking investigations he is “absolutely committed to doing the right thing” and will cooperate “fully” with police investigations into phone hacking activities at the News of the World.

Murdoch is “satisfied” with News International Chief Executive Officer Rebekah Brooks’s “ethics” and “conduct,” and “that she neither had knowledge of nor directed those activities,” he told Sky News.

News of the World staff were told that Brooks offered her resignation last night, Sky News said, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. Her resignation was refused, Sky said, citing the people.

A message left on the voicemail of News International spokeswoman Daisy Dunlop outside office hours wasn’t immediately returned.

To contact the reporter on this story: Blanche Gatt in London at bgatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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