News Corp., the vehicle of controversial publisher Rupert Murdoch, could be probed by British authorities for sustained criminality over a sustained period of time for many activities.

Besides last year's hacking scandal into mobile phones of crime victims as well as members of the British royal family, police are also examining reported payments of bribes and other payments to senior police and public officials, Reuters reported.

Sums as high as six figures may have been passed on by News Corp., the report said.

Shares of News weren't much affected. They closed at $19.70, down 21 cents, valuing the company at $50 billion. Murdoch, 81, shifted its headquarters from Australia to New York in 2004. In the U.S., News owns the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox Broadcasting and HarperCollins publishers, among other companies.

Police have arrested nine former and current senior members of News' London daily The Sun in recent weeks. Murdoch flew to London last weekend.

News shuttered its daily News of the World last year after Murdoch and his son James were summoned to appear before a committee of the House of Commons probing phone hacking.

Reuters said staff have accused police and management of conducting a witch hunt into journalists and their sources.