News Corp withdraws BSkyB takeover bid

News Corp has withdrawn its bid to take over the 61% of BSkyB it does not own.

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Political pressure has been mounting over the proposed deal in the last week, following cross-party support of the Labour Party motion that it was in the public interest for News Corp to withdraw its takeover bid.

News International, News Corp’s UK newspaper business, came under fire for a hacking scandal at the News of the World that resulted in News International’s decision to close the newspaper.

Chase Carey, deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer of News Corporation, says: “We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate.

“News Corporation remains a committed long-term shareholder in BSkyB. We are proud of the success it has achieved and our contribution to it.”

A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron says: “As the Prime Minister has said, the business should focus on clearing up the mess and getting its own house in order.”

BSkyB shares were down 3.5% to 668p after the news broke that News Corp had withdrawn its takeover bid. Under takeover rulings, News Corp cannot bid again for six months.

Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB’s chief executive, says: “We are delivering on our clear, consistent strategy and are building a larger, more profitable business for the long term. We remain very confident in the broadly based growth opportunity for BSkyB as we continue to add new customers, sell more products, develop our leading position in content and innovation, and expand the contribution from our other businesses. I would like to commend all our employees for their unrelenting focus throughout the offer period and thank them for their continuing support.”

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