BSkyB found free of scandal
Britain's media regulator gave pay-TV company BSkyB a clean bill of health yesterday, saying there was no evidence it was linked to the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed its largest shareholder, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
However, Ofcom criticised Murdoch's son James for failing to investigate properly allegations of criminality at the group's newspapers.
"In our view, James Murdoch's conduct in relation to events at News Group Newspapers repeatedly fell short of the exercise of responsibility to be expected of him as CEO and chairman," it said.
Murdoch jnr stepped down as chairman of BSkyB in April in an attempt to protect its reputation, but remains on the board.
The ruling by Ofcom, which has clashed repeatedly with BSkyB, will lift a cloud that had long hung over the group.
Ofcom concluded BSkyB was "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting licence and avoided making the most serious ruling that News Corp should sell some of its nearly 40% holding.
Prompted by the admission that News of the World journalists had hacked into the voicemail of celebrities, politicians and crime victims, Ofcom had examined whether News Corp was an appropriate owner of BSkyB and whether James Murdoch was an appropriate director.
The criminality at Murdoch's powerful British newspaper arm included staff hacking into the voicemail of a murdered schoolgirl.
Under pressure for his own close ties to Murdoch's media group, Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a judge-led inquiry into press standards.
More than 80 people have now been arrested over allegations of phone-hacking, illegal payments, computer-hacking and attempts to pervert the course of justice.