Former FIA president Max Mosley believes that the European Commission could take an interest in the FIA’s 1 percent shareholding in the Formula 1 Group, as it contradicts an agreement made under his stewardship.
British MEP Anneliese Dodds has drawn the attention of EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestage to the Liberty sale, with a particular focus on the FIA's shareholding, which she points out could be worth £33m.
Mosley agrees with Dodds' assertion that the FIA had agreed in 2001 to restrict its role to being the sport's regulator, with no commercial involvement.
"To my way of thinking it's a breach of the agreement with the European Commission," Mosley told Motorsport.com. "We agreed no commercial involvement.
"The FIA response when I queried it when it first happened in 2013 was they said it's 'de minimis' – it doesn't matter – and it's not going to affect the governance, because they've only got 1 percent, and it's nothing.
"You could argue that's a commercial involvement, and that it's something that theoretically at least can produce more money than the turnover of the organisation isn't de minimis. I can see from another point of view that 1 percent isn't very much, it isn't going to give you any control or anything.
"But that's not really the issue. It gives you an incentive. If somebody came along with 'Formula Gold' and wanted to be a rival to F1, you would definitely have an incentive to favour F1."
Mosley stressed that it would only become an issue if the European Commission made it into one.
"If the Commission decides to get busy, if they turn round and say, 'Hang on a minute, you made an agreement with us, you've broken the agreement, you can't do this, you have to divest yourself of this 1 percent, give it whoever.'
"They can do that. But the ball is in their court. It's an agreement with them, they either want to enforce or they don't.
"The thing is, if the Commission isn't bothered, why worry? And for all I know, the FIA may have cleared it with the Commission."
However, Mosley downplays suggestions that the requirement for the FIA to approve Liberty's purchase is a conflict of interest, despite the governing body's shareholding.
Mosley says that the FIA would have no reason not to approve Liberty. "I'm not sure about a conflict of interest.
"I can see the point that as they have to make a decision, it could be a problem, but on the other hand it's fairly academic because I don't think that anybody could say that Liberty were improper people, or that they didn't meet FOM's obligations. They would have no reason not to agree."