European Authorities Raid Offices of 21st Century Fox Unit


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Sports programming has played a key role in Rupert Murdoch’s ability to gain a foothold in the European pay-TV market.

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Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

European authorities raided the London offices of a unit of 21st Century Fox on Tuesday as part of an antitrust investigation into the distribution of sports programming.

The search at Fox Networks Group was one of several the European Commission said it had conducted across Europe as part of an investigation into potential violations of rules prohibiting price-fixing cartels. The investigation adds to the regulatory challenges that 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch’s media giant, is facing in Europe, where officials have held up its bid to take full control of the British satellite broadcaster Sky.

In a statement, Fox Networks Group said it was “cooperating fully with the E.C. inspection.” The raid was first reported by The Daily Telegraph in London, which said the authorities had seized documents and computer files. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, declined to comment on what companies were involved in the searches.

Sports programming has played a key role in Mr. Murdoch’s ability to gain a foothold in the European pay-TV market. Through 21st Century Fox, he owns a 39 percent stake in Sky, which has 23 million customers and owns rights to show the English Premier League and other professional soccer leagues.

Mr. Murdoch has sought to buy the remaining 61 percent of Sky, but the British authorities have not given their final approval. Sky is an important part of the Walt Disney Company’s proposed $52 billion deal to buy much of 21st Century Fox.

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A Fourth Woman Files a Defamation Suit Against Bill O’Reilly


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Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host, was sued on Thursday by Laurie Dhue, a former Fox News anchor who said his response to her allegations of harassment against him defamed her.

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Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

A fourth woman who reached a settlement after making harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly has filed a defamation lawsuit against him, asserting that statements he made have depicted her as a liar, tarnished her reputation and damaged her career prospects.

The suit was filed Thursday by Laurie Dhue, a Fox News anchor from 2000 to 2008 who went on to work as an advocate for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. A New York Times investigation in April revealed that Ms. Dhue had reached a settlement with 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, for more than $1 million after she made sexual harassment allegations against Mr. O’Reilly, the former prime-time host on Fox News, and Roger E. Ailes, the network’s founding chairman.

Her deal is one of six publicly known harassment settlements involving Mr. O’Reilly, which total about $45 million.

After those agreements and the allegations against him were disclosed, Mr. O’Reilly disputed the merits of the claims, saying that he “never mistreated anyone,” that he was the victim of a “political and financial hit job” and that his fame had made him a target. He said he had settled the claims to spare his children the pain of a public trial.

In the lawsuit, lawyers for Ms. Dhue said: “As part of his desperate campaign to clear his name, O’Reilly published false statements about Dhue — as well as the other women — calling her a liar, swearing that her allegations were fabricated in an effort to obtain a settlement, falsely asserting that her purported claims against O’Reilly were politically motivated and lying by saying that he only paid settlements to avoid having his family go through litigation, not because he had engaged in the claimed sexual misconduct.”

The lawsuit states that Mr. O’Reilly’s comments were directed to harm Ms. Dhue’s reputation for truthfulness and trustworthiness, which she relies on in her career in news and addiction recovery advocacy. The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York. It

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