Rupert Murdoch and his global media superpower News Corporation have dropped their bid to take over the world one telly at a time by snapping up all of satellite broadcasting outfit BSkyB.
the Austro-Anglo-American octogenarian, who seems able to buy citizenships with the same ease with which he snaps up the world's media, has been forced to step down from his latest acquisition after the UK government, the police and at least two of Murdoch's pet papers became embroiled in the sordid phone hacking scandal which has been turning stomachs all over the world for months now.
Nobody really gave a stuff when it was politicians and celebrities having their voice-mails snooped on by people with the moral compasses of a cockroach, but when murdered babies, boy soldiers and terrorism victims started to float to the top of the scummy mire, people started to sit up and listen.
Murdoch and his band of extravagantly-rewarded minions have all raised their hands in horror at the allegations citing anything from 'I never knew it was happening' to 'I was on holiday at the time' as a suitable excuse for a lack of corporate culpability, but the latest revealtion will hit Murdoch in the only place he has feelings: in his overstuffed wallet.
Reports have it that News Corp will have to cough up close to £40 billion in kill fees just to walk away from the negotiations, and more than £3 billion has been wiped from BSkyB's value since the Guardian revealed that NotW journalists had hacked into murdered teenager Milly Dowler's mobile phone.
Although the financial implications of the ongoing investigations into the allegations against the NotW are unlikely to trouble Murdoch and his nepotistic clan too much, the fact that the cancer is now spreading to other areas of the empire - including the Sunday Times - will do untold damage to the company's already tarnished reputation.
Television stations and newspapers are the new kingmakers in the 21st century and, as far as we are concerned, the more power wrested from those who seek to undermine democracy and decency in pursuit of money the better.