The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has decided to drop the case against Rupert Mudoch’s News Corp and its sister company Twenty-First Century Fox, after a three-year investigation involving a phone hacking scandal in the U.K. and alleged bribery of public officials for news tips.
The DoJ said, in a statement on Monday, that it has ended its investigation into "possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act concerning bribes allegedly paid for news leads," BBC reported. It, however, added that the department reserved the right re-open the inquiry if any new information came to light.
In a separate filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, News Corp disclosed the end of the probe and released a statement on its website.
"21st Century Fox and News Corp have been notified by the United States Department of Justice that it has completed its investigation of voicemail interception and payments to public officials in London, and is declining to prosecute either company. 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, the company’s general counsel and senior executive vice president, said, in a statement, released Monday.
The 2011 scandal, involving News Corp's British newspaper, News of the World, revealed that journalists had hacked into the phone of a murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler to get news stories. Later, allegations also suggested that they tapped into phones of celebrities, sports figures, and even the British royal family. The scandal led to the shutdown of the paper in 2011 and News Corp had to abandon its plan to take over satellite TV service British Sky Broadcasting, Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2013, News Corp and Fox split into separate businesses and the latter took responsibility of repaying the potential liability that may arise from the government investigation.
Journalists from News Corp's daily tabloid The Sun have also faced prosecution from British authorities. Multiple investigations and court cases against the company still continue in Britain, Reuters reported.