Bloomberg News

News Corp. Investors Accuse Board of Ignoring Conduct by Units

September 13, 2011

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp. investors that sued the company earlier this year accused its directors of ignoring conduct by subsidiaries that led to lawsuits.

Lawsuits against the company’s News America Marketing and NDS units were prompted by a “pattern of improper behavior that was, at best, consciously disregarded” by the board, Amalgamated Bank of New York said in a second amended complaint filed today in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington.

Settlements of lawsuits accusing News America Marketing of trying to drive competitors out of business have cost News Corp. more than $650 million, Amalgamated said.

“For more than a decade, News Corp. subsidiaries have engaged in highly improper practices that have subjected News Corp. to great financial and reputational damage,” Amalgamated said in the new complaint. “This misconduct was so pervasive that the News Corp. board must have either been aware of the wrongdoing or was deliberately indifferent to the corporate culture that encouraged this type of behavior.”

Amalgamated, as a trustee for funds through which it holds almost 1 million News Corp. shares, sued the directors on behalf of the New York-based company in March. The bank accused Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch of nepotism in the purchase of Shine Group Ltd., his daughter’s U.K.-based television production company.

Jack Horner, a News Corp. spokesman, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Amalgamated Bank v. Murdoch, CA6285, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

--With assistance from Edmund Lee in New York. Editors: Stephen Farr, Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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