You may wish to quickly take some lessons on how to play the world’s smallest violin. Because on Tuesday 10 April, Rupert Murdoch’s offices in London were raided by the European Commission. And people’s reactions on Twitter were priceless.
Sports broadcasting has become a huge business in Europe and the US, with networks spending billions of pounds to secure exclusive rights to show games in top-flight leagues to attract viewers.
A statement from the Commission confirmed the raid, plus others, saying:
The Commission has concerns that the companies involved may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices…
Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anticompetitive practices. 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.
As RT noted, the raid could be another headache Murdoch doesn’t need:
[It] comes at an already tense time for Murdoch, who is currently in talks with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over their concerns that his recent bid to take over Sky, along with his control over Fox and News Corp, as well as owing the Sun and the Times will give him too much influence in the British media.
But if the Commission’s raid does give Murdoch a headache, very few people on social media seemed willing to drop him a couple of paracetamol to relieve the symptoms.
An outpouring of grief… Ahem…
As comedian and writer David Schneider wryly noted:
If only there was some way of knowing why the Murdoch papers have always been so pro-Brexit. https://t.co/NRkXA2xQbe
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) April 10, 2018
Prominent campaigner Rachael Swindon seemed to have sarcastic overtones with her response to the news:
Rupert Murdoch's London offices just got raided by investigators for the European Commission with documents and computers being seized, you'll be truly disappointed to hear.
— Rachael Swindon #GTTO (@Rachael_Swindon) April 11, 2018
Others, meanwhile, saw implications for Theresa May and the Conservative government:
Due to the raids on Rupert Murdochs #London office #TheresaMay has promoted @BBCNews to head of Ministry of Propaganda #ToryLies #BBCbias @bbclaurak @BBCNewsnight #Boycottnewsnight @BBCBreaking @BBCPolitics @bbcnickrobinson @daily_politics @MarrShow pic.twitter.com/2aFJuJ5R35
— OneTenTwelve (@OneTenTwelve) April 11, 2018
And this user had a simple message for the media mogul:
In your face, Murdoch! ✊🇪🇺https://t.co/AdnOHwpmM7
— dave M ❄️ 🥕 (@davemacladd) April 11, 2018
Sadly, there’s always one person who spoils the party:
The EU Commission hate Murdoch for backing Brexit. https://t.co/VwMPn7hol3
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) April 11, 2018
Murdoch: surely he doesn’t have form, does he???
Details of the raid are so far unclear. But globally, this is not the first time a Murdoch company has been involved in a sports-related scandal. In November 2017, during a trial relating to bribery allegations involving FIFA, a witness claimed that Fox Sports was involved. As the Guardian reported, Murdoch’s broadcaster was accused of giving bribes to South American FIFA officials in order to get the broadcasting rights to certain matches. Fox Sport denied the allegations.
The Commission will reportedly be sifting through Fox‘s office until Thursday. Let’s hope that the paper shredders and recycle bins at Fox haven’t been too busy. As the last time Murdoch was involved in a major scandal, his staff allegedly “destroyed millions of emails and hundreds of computer hard drives”. Move along. Nothing to see here, guvnor.
– Join The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
Featured image via WSJ – YouTube
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?