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EU Commission carries out raids concerning sports media rights

International sports rights company IMG is one of the latest targets that may have violated EU antitrust rules

The London offices of international sports rights company IMG and the agency co-founded by the new owner of Leeds United football club are the latest targets of raids by officials from the European Commission investigating potential sports rights cartels.

The European Commission confirmed that on 10th April its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several 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.

European investigators entered the offices of IMG and MP & Silva as part of a series of raids.

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

The Commission has concerns that the companies involved may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

The Commission has stated that such inspections do not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.

TVBEurope contacted the EU Commission who were unable to provide any additional comment at this stage of the investigation.