Controversy continues with Murdoch’s News Corp. empire in U.S.

After months of scrutiny from the British News of the World scandal in July, the spotlight is rotating to questionable tactics by another branch of News Corp. across the pond.

News America Marketing, an unsung cash cow for Rupert Murdoch’s international media empire in retail marketing, has faced two ethical investigations dating back to 1997. Both complaints led to no legal ramifications for News Corp.

Complaints of impropriety started with News Corp.’s deal to buy Heritage Media, hoping to give Murdoch’s in-store advertising business company 90% control. Fearing a monopoly, the Justice Department received a complaint to block the transaction.

Without any hesitation, News Corp.’s deal went through, causing confusion in the business world. Afterward, numerous lawsuits were filed by competitors against Murdoch’s branch for harassment and unethical behavior, all being settled by News Corp.

In 2003, New Jersey company Floorgraphics filed complaints of computer hacking from a worker in the Conn. headquarters of the News Corp. group. A suit was brought against News Corp, but was later settled for $650 million.

Paul Carlucci, head of News America, met with the owners of Floorgraphics years earlier, telling them that he “works for a man who wants it all, and doesn’t understand anybody telling he can’t have it all.”

Similar to today’s scandal, management and Mr. Murdoch deny any knowledge of illicit behavior and/or hacking.

With the current turmoil in Britain, the attention of Murdoch’s American base, and the ongoing barrage of credibility attacks on News Corp.’s media holdings(Fox News, New York Post, Wall Street Journal etc.), the future seems shaky for the Australian billionaire.

As of September 5th, four of News Corp.’s former executives will face the U.K.’s Culture, Media, and Sport Committee on the grounds of phone hacking.

What is in the legal foreseeable future for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp.? Should the U.S. Justice Department have deeper investigations into their illicit methods and possibly bring antitrust legislation against them? And how would any action brought against News Corp. affect news media holistically?

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