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Guardian: Murdoch reduced the value of "The Sun" to zero after losing 200 million pounds

The British newspaper, “The Guardian”, revealed that billionaire Rupert Murdoch reduced the value of “The Sun” newspapers to zero, as the impact of the Corona epidemic helped incur a loss of 200 million pounds in the major tabloids he owns.

Advertising and sales revenue fell in The Sun and The Sun on Sunday, with sales down 23% from £419.9m to £324m in the year to the end of June 2020.

Tense market conditions, along with fees related to ongoing legal proceedings over the historic phone hack allegations, have resulted in pre-tax losses more than tripling from £67.8m in 2019 to £201.4m.

As a result, News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary of News UK that operates newspapers, has reduced its value to zero, and the Guardian considered that the move essentially means that the publisher does not believe newspapers will return to positive growth.

The Guardian said more than 80% of The Sun's losses, around £164m, were fees mostly related to phone hacking, which included £52m in fees and damages paid to civilian plaintiffs, doubling the £26m paid. In 2019, £26m of costs were accounted for as 'British newspaper matters'.

The Sun paid a large sum on Thursday to settle a phone-hacking lawsuit filed by former Liberal Democratic Representative Simon Hughes, who alleged that reporters who wanted to reveal his sexual orientation illegally targeted him.

"The company is subject to defamation allegations and is vigorously defending against incoming claims," ​​the News Group said.

The Guardian added that The Sun was not able to stem the losses despite reducing sales and marketing costs by 40%, and reducing the number of employees from 605 to 546.

The Sun, which was acquired by Murdoch in 1969 and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary two years ago, lost the UK's best-selling title to the Daily Mail last year. It has been the country's most popular newspaper since 1978.