Rupert Murdoch's Fox Networks Group London Offices Raided by European Commission

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Rupert Murdoch

The commission is investigating possible anti-competitive practices relating to sports distribution rights.

The London offices of 21st Century Fox's channels business Fox Networks Group were raided on Tuesday by European Commission investigators as part of a probe over a suspected cartel into sports rights distribution in the region.

A Fox Networks Group spokesman told THR that the company "was cooperating fully with the EC inspection."

“The European Commission can confirm that on 10 April 2018 its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several [European Union] member states at the premises of companies active in the distribution of media rights and related rights pertaining to various sports events and/or their broadcasting,” the commission said in a statement, which was first published by The Telegraph.

“The commission has concerns that the companies involved may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices,” the EC added.

But the commission pointed out that such raids weren't an admission of any guilt. 

“Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anti-competitive practices," it said. "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.”

The Telegraph claimed that "documents and computer records" were seized in the raid on the offices in the West London district of Hammersmith.