The European Commission approved last February 14, the investigation of the sale of the Formula 1 to Liberty Media for alleged conflict of interest and abuse of power. Regarding the first assumption, the European Commission was based on the payment of 79.5 million euros to the FIA on the part of Liberty Media, since it considered that it had been able to influence the regulator to authorise such a transaction.
As a response, the FIA has released a letter in which it intends to respond to such allegations and in which he tries to make clear its impartiality and transparency in all the facts derived from the process of purchase of the Formula 1 by Liberty Media.
“After the unanimous approval of the World Council of the Motor about the change of control of Delta Topco Limited (the commercial company that owns the rights to the World Championship Formula 1 FIA) of CVC Capital Partners in favor of Liberty Media on January 18, 2017, the International Federation of motor Racing (FIA) has been informed of some statements inaccurate and malicious in connection with this process”.
“First, the prizes awarded to the World Championship of Formula 1 are given under the bilateral agreement between each team and the holder of the commercial rights (hereinafter HRC). The FIA has no knowledge of these agreements“.
“Second, there is no conflict of interests on the part of the FIA with regard to the approval of the change of control of the holder of the commercial rights adopted at the World Council of the Motor, taking into account only the terms of the agreements that exist between the CRH and the FIA and the best interests of the championship”.
“as to the agreements made in 2001 for 100 years (editor’s note: according in your day signed between Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone by which the latter acquired the rights of F1 for such period), the FIA could just have withheld its consent in the event of a change of control alter materially the ability of the HRC to fulfil its obligations. It is obvious that taking control of Formula One Group by Liberty Media does not create such a risk and no one has suggested a different point of view in this regard.”
“again, the FIA expects a partnership with Liberty Media and the Formula One Group to to create a constructive relationship to ensure the success, and development of the championship to long-term”.