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21st Century Fox's London offices raided by the European Commission

Officials from the European Commission have raided a number of offices, including 21st Century Fox's west London premises, as part of an investigation relating to the potential abuse of the broadcaster's dominant position in the sports broadcast market
21st Century Fox
The inspections were only a "preliminary step into suspected anti-competitive practices."

The London offices of 21st Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX) have been raided by officials from the European Commission (EC).

Hard copy documents and computer files were taken by officials who were investigating a potential abuse of the broadcaster's dominant position in the broadcasting of major sports events.

READ: Here’s the news: Sky gets surprise £22.1bn cash bid from Comcast, trumping Rupert Murdoch's Fox offer​

A spokesman for the commission confirmed that Fox's offices in Hammersmith, London, were among those in several EU countries to receive “unannounced inspections”.

A spokesman for media mogul Rupert Murdoch's Fox said the company is cooperating fully with the commission's inspection.

“The fact that the commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself,” a spokesperson for the European Commission said.

21st Century Fox is currently embroiled in a controversial takeover battle for pay-TV firm Sky PLC (LON:SKY).

READ: Sky News could be sold to Disney in bid to gain CMA approval for Fox-Sky takeover​

For decades, British governments lived in fear of the once Australian, once British, now American media mogul Murdoch and his empire, but of late, the man known as “the Dirty Digger” has not had it all his own way, with the UK's competition and markets authority provisionally indicating that should Fox be successful in its takeover of Sky, the Murdoch family would have too much control over the provision of news in the UK.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority aided the European Commission officials in their raid of Fox's Hammersmith offices.

The “A” shares of Twenty First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) were down 1.6% at US$35.69 in pre-market trading.

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