Murdoch’s Fox, News Corp. Won’t Be Charged Over Hacking

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. and News Corp. said the U.S. Justice Department won’t prosecute either company after an investigation into voice-mail hacking and payments to public officials in the U.K.

The companies announced the decision in separate regulatory filings on Monday.

“We are grateful that this matter has been concluded and acknowledge the fairness and professionalism of the Department of Justice throughout this investigation,” Gerson Zweifach, general counsel of both News Corp., Murdoch’s publishing arm, and of 21st Century Fox, the film and TV business, said in an e-mailed statement from both companies.

Fox and News Corp., operated separately since billionaire Murdoch split his media empire, were embroiled in a scandal over hacked voice-mail accounts by journalists at the now closed News of the World newspaper. Reporters gained access to the voice-mail of Milly Dowler, a missing schoolgirl who had been murdered.

The hacking scandal led Murdoch to close the weekly News of the World tabloid, and both he and his son, James, were called to testify before a Parliamentary committee in the U.K. News Corp., which at the time owned both the publishing and entertainment businesses, dropped a 7.8 billion pound ($13.2 billion) bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. James Murdoch, who led the U.K. newspaper unit of News Corp., dropped his role as chairman of BSkyB.

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