EC raids sports rights agencies in antitrust probe

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The London offices of IMG and MP & Silva have been raided by officials from the European commission investigating potential sports rights cartels.

European investigators entered the offices of IMG and on April 10th as part of simultaneous raids including 21st Century Fox subsidiary Fox Networks and Ziggo Sport, the Dutch subsidiary owned by Vodafone and Virgin Media parent Liberty Global, reports The Guardian.

IMG handles rights including Wimbledon, the ATP Tennis Tour as well as production of Premier League matches in some international markets.

“IMG Media was the subject of an on-site inspection by the European commission,” said IMG. “We are co-operating with the EC and no further comment will be made at this time.”

MP & Silva has sold TV rights including the Premier League in the Middle East and Italy’s Serie A to broadcasters around the world.

The EC raids – reported to also include the London office of international sports rights firm B4 Capital – relate to the alleged abuse of “antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices” in the sports rights market.

The European commission has not specified which sports rights deals it is investigating and emphasised the raids do not mean that the companies involved are guilty.


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