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News Of The World Phone Hacking Cost Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation £55m In Just Three Months

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Rupert Murdoch, right, and Wendi Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch, right, and Wendi Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation spent £55m in just three months on investigations surrounding the closure of the News of the World.

The owner of the now defunct Sunday tabloid, which was shut down last summer in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, disclosed the cost in its latest set of financial results.

Executives said about 85% of the 87m US dollar charge represented legal and consulting fees, with the remainder going towards out-of-court settlements.

News Corp has settled with 54 phone hacking victims so far, but the ongoing police investigations and legal proceedings are expected to keep the company's legal bills high in the near future.

The company paid out 91m US dollars (£57m) between July and September last year due to the scandal.
Rupert Murdoch's global empire also saw a 43% decrease in publishing income in the three months to the end of December
2011 compared to the same period in 2010.

It said the 162m US dollar (£102m) drop, which saw operating income plummet from 380m US dollars (£240m) to 218m US dollars (£138m), was partly down to the closure of the NotW - Britain's biggest selling weekly newspaper that shifted around three million copies every Sunday.

The company also blamed lower advertising revenues at its Australian newspapers for the slump.

Overall, News Corp said net income stood at 1.06bn US dollars (£888m) at the end of the quarter, up from 624m US dollars (£395m) in 2010. The rise was fuelled mainly by income from advertising and fees at its cable television networks, it said.

Chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said: "The significant growth we reported in the quarter in the cable network programming, television and filmed entertainment segments clearly validates our strategy to develop and distribute superior wide-ranging content."