Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

Reply from the European Commission to my letter on Formula 1

Earlier this week I received a reply from the European Commissioner for Competition to a letter that I sent the week before. In my letter, I expressed my concerns about the allocation of prize money in Formula One and its wider impact on the competitiveness of the sport following the recent collapse of Manor Racing, which is based in my constituency. Currently, bigger teams are guaranteed prize money, regardless of where they end up in any race, whilst smaller teams do not benefit from this guaranteed payout.

I also inquired as to why the Commission did not rule on the sale of Formula One to Liberty Media. The motor sport industry is an important employer in the South East of England, and recent local developments, including some smaller teams experiencing severe financial difficulties, have suggested to me the need for more scrutiny of whether the sport is still truly competitive. 

Original Letter

In the Commissioner’s response, she explains that she was unable to rule on the sale of the sport because it did not meet merger thresholds. This has been widely reported as the Commission being unable to investigate any aspect of Formula One, with one outlet reporting that the letter rejected the recent vote in the European Parliament calling for an immediate investigation in competition concerns in Formula One.

This also does not mean she cannot investigate the sale of the sport, or a possible conflict of interest from the regulator concerned.

The Commissioner has, however, not ruled out any investigation into competition concerns in the sport, not least because there is still an on-going investigation arising from complaints from the F1 Teams Force India and Sauber. In addition, the Commissioner maintained in her letter that she would look at tax affairs in relation to the sport. 

I will continue to push to protect highly skilled employees in the South East working in the motor sport industry; as I would for any other industry. 

Earlier this week I received a reply from the European Commissioner for Competition to a letter that I sent the week before. In my letter, I expressed my concerns about the allocation of prize money in Formula One and its wider impact on the competitiveness of the sport following the recent collapse of Manor Racing, which is based in my constituency. Currently, bigger teams are guaranteed prize money, regardless of where they end up in any race, whilst smaller teams do not benefit from this guaranteed payout. I also inquired as to why the Commission did not rule on the sale of Formula One to Liberty Media. The motor sport industry is an important employer in the South East of England, and recent local developments, including some smaller teams experiencing severe financial difficulties, have suggested to me the need for more scrutiny of whether the sport is still truly competitive. 

 

 

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