European competition authorities have drawn a line in the sand on an investigation into the sale of Formula One, rejecting calls from hundreds of MEPs to look into Liberty Media's takeover of the sport.
UK MEP Anneliese Dodds this morning received a response from Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, saying she would not be further investigating the sale of Formula One, which was completed in January.
On 14 February, the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed calls by Dodds, by 467 votes to 156, for an investigation into "anti-competitive practices" in Formula One.
The vote, together with further comments by Dodds led to Formula One's governing body, the FIA, attacking the Labour representative for the south east calling her motion “inaccurately informed or made maliciously”.
The FIA, which held a one per cent stake in the sport prior to the Liberty Media takeover, realised an $80m profit after giving clearance to sale as the sport's regulator. Dodds added:
My concerns in relation to Formula One’s regulator, The FIA, are purely focused on the conflicts of interest that can arise when the regulator of a particular industry also has a financial stake in that same industry.
In that situation, the prospect of the regulator making a profit from developments within an industry that it is supposed to be regulating is something which requires close attention.
But despite the backing of MEPs, Vestager said the transaction "did not satisfy the turnover thresholds that must be met to fall within the Commission's jurisdiction".
She added: "The transaction was notified instead to National Competition Authorities in several Member States, namely Austria, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom, all which approved it last year."