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Murdoch drops BSkyB bid, News Corp investigated

Murdoch may also sell his British papers, reports indicate

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has pulled out of its attempted bid for full control of BSkyB amid the phone hacking scandal.

The news came after British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday appointed a judge to inquire into the affair involving the tabloid News of the World, and would call on Murdoch to drop his $12 billion bid to take over the 60 percent of BSkyB it doesn't already own.

Cameron, as part of his attempts to distance himself from the company, appointed Brian Leveson to lead a full inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal, Reuters reports.

Additionally Cameron, after a grilling in parliament, pledged an inquiry into whether the phones of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. were among the thousands now believed to have been hacked by News of the World, the Washington Post reports.

He vowed to support an opposition motion to be voted on later Wednesday demanding that News Corp. give up its BSkyB takeover bid.

"We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corp. would benefit both companies but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate," News Corp. Deputy Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said, the LA Times reports.

A source close to the media group told the Scotland Herald that the situation had become "too politicised" for News Corp. to continue with its offer.

Meantime, Murdoch may be willing to give up more than just BSkyB in his efforts to rescue his reputation after the phone-hacking scandal, the WSJ (a News Corp. property) reports. Specifically, News Corp. has explored selling its British newspaper unit, News International.

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Murdoch himself is apparently cool on the idea, however, not least because there don't seem to be any buyers for the papers, which include The Sun and The Times of London.

The Journal reports that the company will revisit selling the papers in the next six months.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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