MARCH 23, 1998

Mosley gets FIA support over Europe

THE ongoing dispute between the FIA and the European Commission's Competition Directorate over whether the governing body of the sport is abusing a monopoly position continues with the FIA World Council last week voting for a motion supporting all of FIA President Max Mosley's moves to date and giving him "total support to ensure the defence of the sporting rights and legitimate prerogatives of the 116 member countries of the FIA".

The European Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert has been flexing his political muscles in recent months, claiming that the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone are abusing a dominant position. The FIA argues that Van Miert has no right to interfere in FIA affairs. The dispute is getting in the way of Ecclestone's plans to float his Formula 1 Holdings company because the big financial institutions want to have European Commission clearance before investing in the company.

Coincidentally, the FIA last week won a resounding victory in its legal battle with the German television company AE TV-Cooperations GmbH of Heidelberg which claimed that the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone's ISC company were in breach of commercial clauses in the Treaty of Rome following the FIA's decision to give ISC the rights to televise the European TruckÊRacingÊCup, which had previously been covered by AE TV-Cooperations.

The Germans won a preliminary case in a Frankfurt court in June last year but last week the court dismissed the case against the FIA.