European Commission raids offices in sports broadcasting investigation

The raid on Fox in the UK raises new questions for Rupert Murdoch's deals

"The Commission has concerns that the companies involved may have violated European Union antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices", the Commission said in a statement, after raiding offices in several member states.

The research Fox Networks Group was clearly one of a few European Commission claimed it had conducted around Europe as a portion of an investigation into potential violations of principles forbidding cartels.

"Fox Networks Group (FNG) is cooperating fully with the EC inspection", a Fox spokesman told the Telegraph. Investigators are able to take copies of documents and computer records, and ask for explanations from executives.

UK Media reported on Wednesday morning (AEDT) that authorities were on site and had raided a number of Mr Murdoch's offices on Tuesday local time, as part of a wider probe into possible anti-competitive practices regarding the distribution of sports rights in the region.

In January, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) "provisionally found that if the deal went ahead as planned, it would give the Murdoch family too much control over news providers in the UK", says The Guardian.

Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company.

It is part of the Murdoch empire's entertainment arm, distinct from News Corp, which owns The Times and The Sun newspapers among others.

Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX) have received an average recommendation of "Buy" from the six research firms that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports.

United Kingdom culture secretary Karen Bradley at the time said any such takeover may "increase members of the Murdoch Family Trust's ability to influence the overall news agenda and their ability to influence the political process".

Murdoch has offered to sell his 39 percent ownership of Sky News to Disney, or spin it into a separate company to alleviate their concerns. BidaskClub raised 21st Century Fox from a "buy" rating to a "strong-buy" rating in a research note on Thursday, February 8th.



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