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News Corp. withdraws pledge on BSkyB takeover

July 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
News Corp. has withdrawn a promise to spin off Sky News, which had been a condition for taking full control of British Sky Broadcasting.

After the announcement, the British government referred News Corp.'s bid to competition authorities for a review. Britain's Competition Commission now must hold a full-scale inquiry into whether the takeover would break anti-monopoly laws.

Britain's deputy prime minister had wanted Rupert Murdoch to drop the takeover bid, citing public outrage over the recent phone hacking scandal.

Meantime, the family of a murdered girl, whose phone was hacked by Murdoch's News of the World, wants the editor during the scandal to resign.

But Rebekah Brooks insists she didn't know about the hacking. Milly Dowler, 13, was killed in 2002. News of the World employees hacked Dowler's cellphone after she disappeared.

They reportedly deleted messages from her voicemail, giving her parents false hope that she was still alive and using the phone. The tabloid closed Sunday with an apology to readers.

The fallout in Britain's phone hacking scandal continues to widen.

British media said that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown had his personal information targeted by elements of Murdoch's media empire.

News media including the Independent, Channel 4, the Guardian and the BBC say that Brown's personal details were targeted by people working for titles including the Sun and the Sunday Times. None of the media cited sources.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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