Murdoch's News Corp Could Face US Charges
News Corp may have violated US anti-bribery law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2011 4:22 AM CDT
Rupert Murdoch may have axed the News of the World to limit its parent corporation's legal exposure, experts say.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – If prosecutors in the US decide to pick a fight with Rupert Murdoch and his media empire, the phone-hacking scandal on the other side of the Atlantic has provided them with plenty of ammunition, legal experts say. His News of the World is accused of paying off police officers in Britain (and trying to pay off a New York City cop), an allegation that could lead to charges against News Corp and potentially even Murdoch himself for violating a US law that bans bribing foreign officials, Reuters notes.

Fear of exposure may have prompted Murdoch to quickly kill off the tainted tabloid, a former federal prosecutor tells AP. "Someone must have advised him that he needed to do that to limit his exposure," he says. "Clearly, the act is broad enough to cover something like this, and the US Department of Justice is being increasingly vigorous in enforcing this act." If bribes were paid, News Corp could also become the target of an SEC probe, experts say.