Rupert Murdoch's efforts to gain complete control of Britain's BSkyB satellite TV service has hit a hitch -- namely the intensifying scandal surrounding the allegations that his London Sunday tabloid News of the World routinely hacked into the voicemails of celebrities and politicians. On Wednesday, one of those politicians, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, now Lord Prescott, demanded that approval of the takeover be delayed until the investigation of the telephone hacking is completed. Addressing members of Parliament on Wednesday, a day after two senior journalists of News of the World were arrested in connection with the alleged hacking, Prescott maintained "that it would be totally unacceptable for a company like this [Murdoch's News Corp] that is actively involved at all levels in criminal acts to be given control of BSkyB." He noted also that in 2003, Rebekah Brooks, the head of News International, which oversees Murdoch's news operations in the U.K., admitted that another Murdoch newspaper, the Sun , had paid police for information, a practice, Prescott said, that was patently illegal.

07/04/2011