Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has asked for further documentation from News Group relating to the infamous hacking scandals, as it seeks to establish whether pay TV broadcaster BSkyB is a 'fit and proper' broadcasting licence holder.
The documentation the broadcast regulator wants to see relates to the civil cases of phone hacking.
News Corp. is the organisation owned by Rupert Murdoch and which operates News Group, publisher of the News of the World newspaper, which News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch closed down after its brand became toxic after a phone hacking scandal.
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News Corp is also the largest shareholder of British Satellite Broadcasting (BSkyB), and last year launched a takeover bid for the company; Ofcom was opposed to News Corp taking full control of the satellite broadcaster but was over-ruled by Jeremy Hunt, the minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who is facing calls for his resignation after appearing to be overly helpful to News Corp as the US corporation sought to overcome regulatory hurdles to its bid for the UK company.
Ofcom said in a statement: "Ofcom is gathering evidence which may assist it in assessing whether BSkyB is and remains fit and proper to continue to hold its broadcast licences.
"As part of this ongoing assessment, Ofcom has contacted News Group Newspapers requesting documents which it understands are held by the company and which may be relevant to this assessment.
"BSkyB is party to this correspondence."
Ofcom's request is the first real indication that the dodgy goings-on at News of the World are a factor in Ofcom's deliberation over whether BSkyB should continue to hold a broadcasting licence.
The BBC's business editor, Robert Peston, has said this could force News Corp to reduce its stake in BSkyB in an effort to reduce the appearance of its material influence over the company.
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