Is Rupert Murdoch safe from Australian regulators?
nder American law, the finding that he is not a fit and proper person to run a business in the UK can be used to trigger an inquiry in the USA.
These ongoing worries are more than an embarrassment to the octogenarian patriarch; they are a debilitating overhang that could ultimately affect the fate of News Corporation – the parent company that manages the family’s global media business interests, including News Limited in Australia and News International in the UK. For example, BSkyB shares took a hit on UK markets after the email hacking story came to light.
There is no suggestion at the moment that News Limited staff ever engaged in phone-hacking or other illegal behaviour in Australia and so far there has been no real damage to Murdoch’s assets here.
The Independent Media Inquiry (the Finkelstein inquiry) was convened to examine issues of standards and accountability in the Australian news media, but its terms of reference did not mention News Limited in particular. The inquiry’s report is largely forgotten and the Convergence Review recommendations are unlikely to have much impact over the next 18 months.