FIA stands trial IV (and lost!)

FIA stands trial IV (and lost!)

Post by Thomas Gmu » Fri, 13 Jun 1997 04:00:00

The following is a press-release from AE TV Corporation GmbH as been
sent out to the agencies on June 4, 1997. (Sorry, I am a little late
with posting it)

If you missed the other press relases already published here, you may
find them on the following locations:

http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/f1/fia_TV.001
http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/f1/fia_TV.002
http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/f1/fia_TV.003

Central Marketing of TV rights by FIA in violation of European
Competition Law
--------------------------------------------------------------

By judgement of June 4, 1997 in an interim proceeding, and upon
application of AE TV cooperation GmbH, the district court in Frankfurt
ruled that the central marketing of the TV rights to the races of the
FIA European Truck Racing Cup is in violation of European Competition
Law. The Court has made it clear that the prohibition of the central
marketing by FIA applies to the whole of the EC. Therefore, these races
will again - at least until a judgement in the main proceeding
(complaint of AE TV against FIA of February 26, 1997) - be marketed
individually by the respective organizers who assume all financial risks
resulting from the staging of the respective event. This judgment is not
only a victory for the organizers wich have been "expropriated" by FIA
but also for the broadcasters who are no longer forced to purchase
EC-wide all international motorsport programes exclusively from a single
supplier (the company of Mr. Ecclestone ISC wich has been entrusted by
FIA with the central marketing) at conditions dictated by this
monopolist.

Even tough the judgment explicitly only rules on a single FIA-series
(European Truck Racing Cup) it has implications also for all other
series wich are being marketed by FIA on a central basis. In the
reasoning of its judgment the district court in Frankfurt argues that
the FIA-resolutions of October 20, 1995 and June 11, 1996, whereby the
central marketing of all motorsport events wich take place in more than
one country has been introduced, is in violation of of Article 85
EC-Treaty (prohibition of resolutions wich are restrictive of
competition). These FIA-resolutions do not apply only to the European
Truck Racing Cup, but also to around 21 other FIA series.

The question whether the central marketing of all international
motorsport events in the EC by FIA infringes EC competition law is also
subject of a formal complaint wich has been lodged by AE TV against FIA
and ISC with the European Commission in Brussels (file no. IV / 36520)
on May 27, 1997.

Best regards

Wolfgang Eisele

AE TV Corporation GmbH
Hugo-Stotz-Str. 14
69123 Heidelberg /Germany
Phone: (+49) 6221 776033
Fax: (+49) 6221 776035