CMA launches probe into UK sports broadcasters
The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into potential cartel-like behaviour by a number of Britain's largest sports broadcasters, including ITV.
The watchdog believes it has "reasonable grounds" to suspect that ITV, as well as BT, Sky, and IMG Media, may have broken competition rules with its purchase of freelance services in the United Kingdom.
"The investigation relates to the purchase by such companies of freelance services which support the production and broadcasting of sports content in the UK," said the CMA. "At this stage, the CMA believes it has reasonable grounds to suspect one or more breaches of competition law."
However, the CMA stated it was yet to decide if there was enough evidence to take further action and highlighted that no conclusions should be drawn as to whether or not the companies broke the law at present.
"The CMA has not reached a view as to whether there is sufficient evidence of an infringement of competition law for it to issue a statement of objections to any party or parties," it said.
ITV said on Wednesday that it was "committed" to complying with competition law and was cooperating with the CMA's inquiries. However, the broadcaster offered no further comment on the investigation.
As of 0830 BST, ITV shares were down 0.58% at 65.38p.
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com