Euro MPs back calls for Formula One inquiry

15 Feb 2017

By: Sport Industry Group

Members of the European Parliament have voted in support of an inquiry into alleged ‘anti-competitive practices’ in Formula One.

The European Commision could launch an investigation following the proposal, which was tabled by Anneliese Dodds, a Labour MEP, as part of the European Parliament’s competition reports.

Dodds called for an investigation in an amendment to the parliament’s annual competition report, which passed by 467 votes to 156, with 86 abstentions. She cited that smaller teams are “unfairly punished” because of the way Formula One is run. 

In 2015 two smaller teams in Formula One, Force India and Sauber, asked EU’s Competition Commission to investigate the sport due to perceived unfairness in the way revenues were divided and rules decided.

Dodds said: “Smaller teams are unfairly punished by an uncompetitive allocation of prize money that will always give the biggest teams more money, even if they finish last in every race.

“The problems in Formula One extend well beyond the allocation of prize money, with serious concerns being raised about an agreement with HM Revenue and Customs that allowed the sport to pay an effective two-per-cent tax rate.”

“There is also significant conflict of interest over the recent sale of the sport to Liberty Media, after the regulator received a $79.5m (€75.2m) profit from authorising the sale.

“I have written a number of letters to the European Commission calling for a full investigation and I am grateful that the rest of the European Parliament has added its voice to this call. We must ensure that we don't lose even more highly skilled jobs in this sector and allow a sport loved by 500 million fans to become increasingly less competitive.”

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