Sale of Formula 1 to Liberty Media will not be investigated by EU

The European Union competitions commission has rejected calls to investigate the sale of Formula 1 to new owner Liberty Media

Sale of Formula 1 to Liberty Media will not be investigated by EU

Motorsport's governing body the FIA gave its approval for the sale last month, paving the way for the deal to be completed, however suggestions of a conflict of interest followed, given it owned a 1% stake in F1.

Why talk of foul play in F1 sale is wrong

That led to the FIA defending itself with a statement that declared the questioning of its role in approving the takeover as "inaccurately informed" or "malicious".

A UK member of the European parliament, Anneliese Dodds has been pushing for an investigation into anti-competition practices - with the parliament backing her - and the F1 sale.

But Dodds has received a letter from the European commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager saying the body would not investigate the sale.

"This transaction did not satisfy the turnover thresholds that must be met to fall within the Commission's jurisdiction," said Vestager.

Despite the move, Force India and Sauber's complaint, lodged in 2015 about F1's governance and payment structure, is still being considered by the commission, though it has yet to decide whether it will launch an investigation.

In response to the letter, Dodds said in a statement to Autosport: "There are still serious questions to be answered about the unfair allocation of prize money in the sport.

"The current system severely disadvantages the smallest teams and gives a lion's share of the money to the biggest teams regardless of where they finish on the grid.

"I will continue to raise my competition concerns with the European Commission and keep pushing for a full follow-up of the complaints submitted to the commission by Sauber and Force India."

Meanwhile, Vestager says her team is looking at information provided regarding F1's tax agreement with the UK's HM Revenue and Customs, which allowed the previous owners to reduce the amount of tax paid.

"I am glad the European Commission is investigating the tax ruling which appears to have been agreed between HM Revenue and Customs and Formula 1's former owners," said Dodds.

"Any sweetheart deal that reduces the tax burden of only one company is state aid and must be taken seriously.

"If such a deal breaks competition rules, I expect any unpaid tax to be duly collected by the British Government."

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