News Corp.’s U.S. Hacking Problem

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In March 2004, one of the early investors in the New Jersey in-store advertising firm Floorgraphics sent a confidential fax to News Corp.’s Chief Financial Officer, David DeVoe. The fax contained a long list of alleged anti-competitive practices by News America Marketing, a News Corp. subsidiary and competitor of Floorgraphics. The charges included computer hacking, falsely trashing Floorgraphics to its clients and other allegedly illegal activities.

News Corp says it investigated the matter; “This is the only instance we are aware of,” said News Corp. spokeswoman Suzy Halpin. By 2007 News America had as much as 90% of the in-store advertising market and now the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York are looking to see whether the Floorgraphics case is an isolated one or if it “fits into a larger pattern of behavior,” by News Corp., a government source told TIME.

Check out the full story by Mark Benjamin and me in this week’s newsstand edition of the magazine available to subscribers on tablets and the web.