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News Corp.’s $139 Million Accord Over Hacking Approved

News Corp., the media company headed by Rupert Murdoch, won approval of a $139 million settlement of investor lawsuits claiming directors ignored employee misconduct, including phone-hacking.

The settlement of claims that the board turned a blind eye to journalists’ illegal reporting tactics, including paying bribes and hacking into celebrities’ phones, “is reasonable, fair and adequate,” Delaware Chancery Court Judge John Noble said today at a hearing in Dover.

As part of the derivative accord, the $139 million is being paid to News Corp. out of insurance covering directors.

Noble also approved $28 million in legal fees and expenses for investors’ lawyers to be paid from the insurance proceeds.

News Corp. officials continue facing fallout from the scandal over the company’s newsgathering tactics. Last week, prosecutors said a journalist at News Corp.’s Sun tabloid newspaper in London and a corrections officer are facing criminal charges over bribes paid for information about operations at English prisons.

Nathaniel Brown, a spokesman for New York-based News Corp., didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the court’s approval.

The case is In re News Corp. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, CA 6285, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

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