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UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF THE GAME

Formula 1: Liberty Media’s race across the regulatory finish line

Published 31 May 2017 | Authored by: Benoît Keane

The acquisition of the Formula One Group by Liberty Media has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom as well as by national competition authorities in other countries (a copy of the CMA’s decision is available here[1]). Although the deal did not meet the thresholds for an EU-wide merger review, the European Commission is being urged to conduct a separate competition inquiry. 

This article explores the reasoning of the UK competition authority for clearing the deal and assesses the likelihood of further competition investigations under the authorities’ broader enforcement powers. Specifically it looks at:

  • The nature of the deal

  • Notification of Formula One Group acquisition to the European Commission

  • The Competition and Markets Authority’s review

  • Analysis and comment, including conflict of interest concerns

  • Conclusions

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About the Author

Benoît Keane

Benoît Keane

Benoît Keane is a leading European lawyer. He specialises in European law and European competition law in particular relating to the media and sports sectors. Benoît represents clients before the European Commission and European Courts.

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