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The value of the Murdochs' News Corp. added around $2 billion while they were being grilled, trading 5.3 percent higher at $15.74. The stock has taken a battering over the past couple of weeks, shedding around 17 percent of its value, or around $8 billion.

James Murdoch apologized for the scandal, telling British lawmakers that “these actions do not live up to the standards our company aspires to.”

The younger Murdoch said the company acted as swiftly and transparently as possible. Rupert Murdoch acknowledged, however, that he did not investigate after Brooks, the Murdochs' former U.K. newspaper chief, told parliament years ago that the News of the World had paid police officers for information.

Asked by lawmakers why there was no investigation, he said: “I didn’t know of it.”

He says the News of the World “is less than 1 percent” of his News Corp., which employs 53,000 people.

Murdoch also said he was not informed that his company had paid out big sums _ 700,000 pounds ($1.1 million) in one case _ to settle lawsuits by phone hacking victims.

James Murdoch said his father became aware of the settlement “in 2009 after a newspaper report. It was a confidential settlement.”

He said a civil case of that nature and size would be dealt with by the executives in the country involved _ in this case himself, as head of News Corp.’s European and Asian operations.

James Murdoch said news organizations need to put a stronger emphasis on ethics in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, telling lawmakers that “we do need to think in this country more forcefully and thoughtfully about our journalistic ethics.”

Rupert Murdoch’s wife, Deng and News Corp. executive Joel Klein, who is overseeing an internal investigation into the wrongdoing, sat behind him as he spoke.

The elder Murdoch denied that the closure of the News of the World was motivated by financial considerations, saying he shut it because of the criminal allegations.

There has been speculation that Murdoch wanted to close the Sunday newspaper in order to merge its operations with the six-days-a-week Sun, which some have speculated will relaunch as a seven-day publication.

Politicians also pushed for details about the Murdochs' ties to Prime Minister David Cameron and other members of the British political establishment.

In a separate hearing, lawmakers questioned London police about reports that officers took bribes from journalists to provide inside information for tabloid scoops and to ask why the force decided to shut down an earlier phone hacking probe after charging only two people.

Detectives reopened the case earlier this year and are looking at a potential 3,700 victims.

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