Murdoch’s Fox offices raided by EU antitrust watchdog over broadcast “cartel”

 

The European Commission (EC) have confirmed that they raided UK offices of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc as part of an investigation into “companies involved may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.”

The raid could not come at a worse time for the Murdoch group which for a long time has been trying to take over European broadcaster Sky Plc.

Bloomberg report that the media mogul “has offered to spin off Sky News or sell it to Walt Disney Co. to address concerns about having to much influence in British Media.”

EU regulators approved the acquisition last year, but British regulators are looking into the takeover as part of a media plurality review. And in February, Comcast Corp beat Murdoch’s offer for Sky with a $22 billion bid.

“The Commission has concerns that the companies involved may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.”

Fox Networks Group, a division of 21st Century Fox told The Telegraph it is “cooperating fully with the EC inspection.”

Raids were carried out on comapnies involved in broadcasting rights for sports events in different EU countries. The EC said the antitrust raids by its competition watchdog were a first step in investigating violations and not necessarily a sign of guilt.

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