European Interest

21st Century Fox unit in London investigated by EU

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
The headquarters of 21st Century Fox in Midtown Manhattan, USA.

Amid concerns that some companies may have violated European Union antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices, EU investigators raided the London offices of a 21st Century Fox unit in London. There was reportedly suspicion the company has colluded in bidding for the right to broadcast sporting events.

On April 10, the European Commission confirmed in a statement that it carried out “unannounced inspections” at offices in several European countries, but it didn’t identify the companies involved.

As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the Commission stressed that the inquiry into these concerns “does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour.”

Fox Networks Group, which includes 21st Century Fox’s television, cable and sports media businesses, said in a statement that it is “cooperating fully” with the investigation.

The group’s subsidiary in Europe and Africa distributes more than 150 basic television channels and premium sports channels, including Fox Sports, according to 21st Century Fox’s annual report. It owns 51 percent of Eredivisie Media & Marketing CV, which holds media and sponsorship rights for the Netherlands’ top soccer league.

According to AP, Fox’s US unit last year broadcast more than 885 living sporting events, including soccer games from the UEFA Champions League and the Bundesliga, Germany’s top league.

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