Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Fox Networks' UK Offices Raided by EC Competition Watchdogs

Rupert Murdoch Chairman of Fox News Channel Fox Networks' UK Offices Raided by EC Competition Watchdogs
Ginger Lawrence | 11 April, 2018, 04:52

The antitrust arm of the European Union, however, suggested that it was concerned that those involved may have violated EU rules that "prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices".

21st Century Fox had its Fox Network offices in London raided by European Commission (EC) competition authorities on Tuesday.

While no official announcement of the investigation has been made, some have speculated that the incident may tie into the recent attempt of Murdoch and Fox to acquire Sky News in the UK.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anticompetitive practices. "The fact that the commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behavior nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself".

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The Commission did not name any of the companies affected.

The Telegraph, a British newspaper, was first to report news of the surprise inspection and said a variety of documents and computer records were seized.

One of the companies involved is the Fox Networks Group (FNG), which is a primary operating unit of 21st Century Fox, the entertainment empire controlled by Rupert Murdoch.

The CMA had also stated in January that its media plurality concerns would fall away on completion of Disney's Fox takeover. Fox is trying to obtain permission from British regulators at the Competition and Markets Authority to complete its acquisition of Sky Plc, a deal that already has European Union approval.