- Allegations that British newspapers hacked phones caused an international scandal
- For a time, the affair looked set to jeopardize Rupert Murdoch's global media empire
- It resulted in the closure of the UK's biggest-selling newspaper
- Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson found guilty of phone hacking
Accusations that journalists at Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities and unwitting people caught up in the news -- including child murder victims -- rocked the country and severely bruised his reputation.
The scandal forced the closure of Britain's top-selling paper, the News of the World, resulted in the withdrawal of his bid for the satellite broadcaster BSkyB, and led to criminal charges being laid against former senior News International figures, including his trusted UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks. It also led to a wide-ranging inquiry into press standards by Lord Leveson.
Here is a timeline of the scandal:
November 2005 - News of the World (NoW) prints a story about Britain's Prince William injuring his knee, prompting royal officials to complain to police about probable voicemail hacking.
August 2006 - Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are arrested for illegal phone hacking.
May 15, 2007 - The Press Complaints Commission says it found no evidence of phone hacking at NoW.
January 2007 - NoW royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are convicted of conspiracy to hack into phone voicemails of royals and are jailed. Andy Coulson, the paper's editor, insists he is unaware of hacking but still resigns.
July 2007 - Goodman and Mulcaire sue the tabloid for wrongful dismissal. Goodman receives £80,000 (currently $129,190), and Mulcaire receives an undisclosed amount.
Coulson is hired as director of communications for Conservative party leader David Cameron, who becomes UK prime minister in May 2010.
June 2008 - News Group Newspapers pays a £700,000 (nearly $1.13 million) settlement to soccer executive Gordon Taylor, whose phone was hacked by Mulcaire.
November 2009 - Britain's Press Complaints Commission releases a report concluding that there is no evidence of continued phone hacking.
March 2010 - Celebrity public relations agent Max Clifford agrees to drop his lawsuit against News of the World for a payment of more than £1 million ($1.6 million).
September 2010 - Former NoW journalist Sean Hoare alleges that phone hacking was a common practice at the paper and encouraged by Coulson.
January 21, 2011 - Coulson resigns as Cameron's spokesman because of coverage of the phone-hacking scandal.
January 26, 2011 - London's Metropolitan Police launches a new investigation into voicemail hacking allegations at NoW.
April 10, 2011 - News of the World officially apologizes for hacking into voicemails from 2004 to 2006 and sets up a compensation system for unnamed victims.
July 4, 2011 - It is reported that News of the World journalists possibly hacked into then-missing teenager Milly Dowler's voicemail and deleted messages to free space, causing her parents to believe she was still alive.
July 6, 2011 - Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., the parent company of News of the World owner News International, promises full cooperation with the investigation and calls the accusations against News of the World "deplorable and unacceptable."
July 7, 2011 - News International announces that the July 10 edition of News of the World will be the paper's last.
July 8, 2011 - Coulson is arrested. Goodman, the paper's former royal correspondent who served a four-month jail term in 2007, also is arrested on corruption allegations.
July 10, 2011 - The 168-year-old News of the World publishes its final edition with the headline "Thank you and goodbye."
July 13, 2011 - News Corp. withdraws its bid to take over British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, as Prime Minister Cameron announces a wide-ranging public inquiry into the British media.
July 14, 2011 - The FBI launches an investigation into allegations that News Corp. employees or associates hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims, a federal source says.
July 15, 2011 - Brooks resigns as chief executive of News International, as Les Hinton resigns as head of the Dow Jones division of the News Group Corp. and publisher of The Wall Street Journal. He was Brooks' predecessor at News International.
July 16, 2011 - Rupert Murdoch apologizes to the British public with full-page advertisements in seven national newspapers.
July 17, 2011 - Brooks is arrested on charges of suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications. She is released on bail after questioning.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson -- who leads London's police and is the UK's highest-ranking policeman -- resigns. It comes after revelations that former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis later became a communications consultant for police.
July 18, 2011 - Assistant police Commissioner John Yates, who ruled two years ago that there was no reason to pursue an investigation into phone hacking by journalists, resigns.
Home Secretary Theresa May announces that London's police department will be investigated for corruption.
July 19, 2011