In Brief

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp avoids US corruption charges

Department of Justice ends three-year investigation following UK phone hacking and bribery scandal

US officials have decided not to prosecute Rupert Murdoch's News Corp company following a lengthy anti-corruption probe.

The US Department of Justice spent three years investigating whether the media company had violated US law during the British phone hacking and bribery scandal.

Under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, it is illegal for companies based in the US to bribe foreign officials in a bid to improve their business prospects.

"Based upon the information known to the Justice Department at this time, it has closed its investigation into News Corp regarding possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act concerning bribes allegedly paid for news leads," said a spokesperson for the department.

"If additional information or evidence should be made available in the future, the department reserves the right to reopen the inquiry."

According to the BBC, the FBI trawled through thousands of emails on News Corp servers, looking for evidence of any possible violations of US anti-corruption law.

News Corp said it was grateful that the matter had been concluded and acknowledged the "fairness and professionalism" of the Justice Department throughout the investigation.

Murdoch controls News Corp, which has its headquarters in New York, and Twenty-First Century Fox, which split into separate businesses in 2013.

News of the World, the tabloid newspaper at the centre of the scandal, was closed down four years ago and several journalists have been prosecuted for hacking phones or paying public officials for exclusive stories.

Andy Coulson, the tabloid's former editor and later a media advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, was found guilty of conspiring to intercept voicemails, while his predecessor Rebekah Brooks was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into the "culture, practices and ethics of the press" was set up following the revelation that News of the World hacked the mobile phone of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler – triggering a huge public debate about the regulation of Britain's media.

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