In the wake of the News of the World cellphone hacking scandal, which has claimed new victims on an almost daily basis and has since included other News International papers in the firestorm, News Corporation announced Wednesday its withdrawal from the $12 billion bid to assume full control of British Sky Broadcasting, reported The New York Times.
Chase Carey, the deputy chairman, president, and chief operating officer of News Corporation, said in a press statement issued today that the acquisition would benefit both News Corporation and BSkyB.
“But it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate,” he said.
Carey indicated that News Corporation will retain its current share of BSkyB.”We are proud of the success it has achieved and our contribution to it,” he said in the same statement.
However, the future of the acquisition remains unclear. In her Twitter feed, Emily Bell, former Guardian news and media director of digital content, wrote there could be some strategy behind the move.
“It is big news, but it would be strategically better to withdraw from BSkyB bid now, straighten management and return to it later?” she tweeted. “I would still put money on Murdoch owning all of Sky in 2 years time, but would not be surprised if uk [sic] papers are gone by then,” she posted in a later tweet.