LONDON Dec 19 WPP, the world's largest
advertising agency, said on Monday that three of its
subsidiaries had received subpoenas from the U.S. Department of
Justice as part of an investigation into video production
practices in the advertising industry.
Run by the high-profile British businessman Martin Sorrell,
WPP said that both the group and its subsidiaries were fully
cooperating with the enquiries.
The DoJ's antitrust division has been investigating whether
advertising agencies rigged bids to favour their in-house
production units in competition with independent companies.
Rival groups Interpublic Group of Cos, Omnicom Group
and Publicis Group SA had already announced
that they had been subpoenaed as part of the investigation.
Shares in WPP were down 0.4 percent at 1,774 pence by 1608
GMT, when the Stoxx 600 Europe Media sector index was
up 0.16 percent.
Large advertising companies have expanded their own
production operations in recent years as a way to grow new
revenue streams and keep up with advertisers' increasing demand
for video content.
WPP declined to comment further.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Greg Mahlich)