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.
European Commission announces raids in several countries over potential price-fixing of sports rights.— Nick Stylianou (@nmsonline) April 10, 2018
The Daily Telegraph reports investigators are currently at the London HQ of 21st Century Fox’s channels distribution unit Fox Networks: https://t.co/28DuWvLqDM pic.twitter.com/Lvw2WrArD1
“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).
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 abandonment of Leveson 2 confirmed our Government’s abject fear of Rupert Murdoch. Today, the European Commission raided his London offices. https://t.co/YRwNUV8o6X— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) April 11, 2018
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.