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UK anti-competition authority looks into Liberty’s F1 buyout

The purchase of F1 by Liberty Media could be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority due to a suspected breach of anti-competition laws.
The purchase of Formula One by Liberty Media could potentially be suspended if any investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom is sparked up by a breach of anti-competition laws.

The CMA has begun an initial consideration into whether Liberty Media's £6bn buyout of F1 in September is in breach of any anti-competition laws in the UK and has requested submissions for formal information on the deal.

Concerns have been caused around the Enterprise Act 2002 which effectively prevents any monopolies of markets or domination which does not provide grounds for competition.

READ: Liberty Media confirms F1 purchase

"The CMA is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002,” a statement from the government department said.

“And if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services."

An official decision on whether to launch a formal investigation will be made on 5th January 2017.

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After the initial announcement of Liberty Media's takeover of F1, the FIA immediately asked for further details into the deal.

The total buyout is estimated to be worth £6bn which includes £3.1bn of debt which F1 current carries. Bernie Ecclestone has remained head of the commercial rights holder, while 21st Century Fox executive vice chairman Chase Carey has come in as the new chairman to replace Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.

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November 08, 2016 12:44 PM
Last Edited 89 days ago

Honestly, this is stupid. ALL professional sports championships are monopolies. In case you haven't noticed, there is only one "F1" championship, there is no "other" competition. Sure, there are other racing championship like WEC, MotoGP, etc, but they are indirect competitors and do not "sell" the same product as F1. There is only one "Major League Baseball" championship. Sure there are other stick/ball competitors like Basketball or Football, but they are not direct competitors "selling" the same product, the sports are totally different. They are all monopolies that are legally recognized and regulated.

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