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Murdoch Buys Time for Public Fury to Pass With BSkyB Review

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News Corp. bought itself time to weather the furor over phone hacking at the now-defunct News of the World by pushing U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to refer its bid for British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc to regulators.

Hunt was forced to send the offer for the pay-TV operator to the U.K. Competition Commission for review after Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. yesterday dropped its previous offer to spin off Sky News into a separate company to complete the BSkyB deal. Lawyers called the decision by News Corp. “a clever tactic” and a “smart move.”