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He could yet face more humbling. If the regulator were to determine that News Corp. does not meet the “fit and proper” test, it could be forced to divest part of its stake in BSkyB, depriving it of a controlling interest.

British law offers no legal definition of “fit and proper,” meaning that Ofcom must use its judgment in deciding whether executives should be trusted to hold a broadcasting license. Ofcom said it would consider the parliamentary committee’s report as part of its deliberations.

If shareholders are worried, they didn’t show it Wednesday. BSkyB shares rose, up more than 2 percent at 706 pence in London afternoon trading, as the company reported a 19 percent increase in nine-month profits.

Media industry analyst Claire Enders said she thought the lawmakers’ report had made it less likely that Ofcom would make Murdoch sell or reduce his stake.

“The fact that the committee unanimously concluded that neither Rupert nor (his son) James had misled Parliament is a very good outcome for them,” she said. “They’re certainly not out of the woods yet, but I think it is a landmark victory in their favor.”

Shares in News Corp. rose after the report, closing up 0.9 percent Tuesday at $19.79. Some U.S. investors saw the report hastening the day when the company would sell its scandal-hit U.K. businesses and stop the risk of them contaminating the company’s other major assets, which include the Fox television network, Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal.

Analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research said in a note to clients that the trouble was confined to Murdoch’s British assets, and it is “difficult to foresee meaningful problems for News Corp.’s non-U.K. assets, which represent the vast majority of News Corp.’s market capitalization.”

It’s not such good news for the British prime minister. The report means the media are once again trawling over Cameron’s many links to Murdoch: His meetings with the mogul; the former News of the World editor who became Cameron’s communications chief; his dinners and lunches and horse-riding trips with ex-Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks.

“At one level it’s very unfortunate for David Cameron, the timing of all of this,” said Steven Fielding, director of the Center for British Politics at the University of Nottingham. “This could have happened at any point in the last 10 years, that the prime minister of the day could get caught in a close embrace with Rupert Murdoch — they’ve all been in a close embrace with Rupert Murdoch.”

Associated Press writer Robert Barr contributed to this report.