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Fox offices raided in EC antitrust investigation

Fox offices raided in EC antitrust investigation”

The London offices of Fox Networks Group have been raided as part of a series of raids being organised by the European Commission into the distribution of sports rights.

A division of Rupert Murdoch's media empire has been raided in London by the European Commission (EC) on account of violating "EU antitrust rules".

A spokesman said: "The European Commission can confirm that on 10 April its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several member states at the premises of companies active in the distribution of media rights and related rights pertaining to various sports events and/or their broadcasting".

A spokesperson from Fox Networks Group (FNG) said in a statement: "Fox Networks Group is cooperating fully with the EC inspection".

But the commission stressed that the fact it "carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behavior".

The precise nature of the confidential investigation, which is believed to be in its early stages, is unclear.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is now grappling with the UK's competition authority over plans to buy the 61 per cent of British pay TV company Sky that it does not already own.

That deal has faltered, with USA giant Comcast tabling a rival offer, after United Kingdom regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found the deal was not in the public interest, citing concerns over media plurality.

Fox has responded by proposing the sale of TV channel Sky News to Disney, while also offering to ring-fence the 24-hour news channel instead.



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