Conflict of interest in F1 sale?

Date published: September 26 2016

Liberty Media’s takeover of Formula 1 may not be as smooth as they had hoped as questions have been raised about the FIA’s conflict of interest.

Earlier this month Liberty Media confirmed that it had agreed a deal to takeover Formula 1 for $4.4bn.

However, the deal, which will see the company purchase all the shares of parent company Delta Topco, still needs the approval of the FIA.

And that is where the conflict of interest lies.

According to the Daily Telegraph’s Christian Sylt, the FIA owns a 1 percent stake in Delta Topco meaning motorsport’s governing body will profit from the sale.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour MEP for the south east of England, said: “It is unacceptable that a regulator of any industry should be allowed to benefit financially from sanctioning the sale of one of the companies it regulates.”

The sale will net a tidy profit for the FIA who bought the shares in 2013 for $458,197.34 but could sell them for $44m.

Sports lawyer Charles Braithwaite added: “If the FIA approves the sale, people may question whether it was driven by the desire to get the multi-million sale proceeds; despite the fact that the FIA is the governing body and regulator of Formula One.”