Investigative officials of the European Union raided the London office of the Fox Network owned by Australian-born US mogul Rupert Murdoch on the night of April 10. The EU Commission confirmed the "unannounced inspections" in a press release and explained that they were related to the distribution of sports broadcasting and concerns that the network might be engaging in anti-competitive business practices.
It was hinted that the raids themselves are the initial step in a larger, more wide-ranging European investigation into alleged cartel behaviour by the Fox Network and other media businesses owned by Mr. Murdoch.
The Commission further added that the investigations would be continuing without a time limit, citing the lack of any legal deadline for the investigators to complete their work.
The raids come as a further blow to the Murdoch media empire's attempts to expand in Britain. In 2017, it's bid to buy a majority stake in the broadcaster BSkyB came under increasing Parliamentary scrutiny and was ultimately blocked as it was deemed to not be "in the public interest."
American media titans Disney and Comcast have both put in massive bids to buy the majority of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, $US54.2 billion and $US31 billion respectively for a majority stake in Sky alone.
The Murdoch media empire has found itself rapidly outsized by the likes of Facebook and Google as it continues to rely on its significant control of the newspaper industry in most English-speaking countries such as the US, UK and Australia. The profitability of the newsprint sector continues to decline as the vast majority of advertising revenue has migrated to the internet, with no alternative source of funding having yet been developed.