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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. abandoned its $12.5 billion bid for British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) Wednesday amid growing public opposition to the deal and mounting political pressure over a phone-hacking scandal that has been widening by the day.

News Corp.’s bid to acquire the 61 percent of the United Kingdom’s largest pay-television provider had been shaping up as the capstone of Murdoch’s career. Instead, revelations that reporters and editors at the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid had hacked the voicemail accounts of celebrities, politicians, terrorist-bombing victims and even an abducted teenage girl have sent the media baron into retreat.

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