Archives: Italian Developments

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The Italian Competition Authority Investigates Alleged Margin Squeeze in the Italian Bulk SMS Market

On 16 November 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) opened a proceeding against Vodafone Italia and Telecom Italia for alleged abusive conducts in the bulk SMS market. According to the Authority, both companies would have abused their dominant position in the upstream market of SMS termination services through alleged abusive conducts aimed at excluding … Continue Reading

Model Management Services, Italian Competition Authority Fines 8 Modelling Agencies and Their Trade Association for Price Fixing

On 11 November 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the Authority) fined eight modelling agencies (B.M. S.r.l. – Brave, D’management Group S.r.l., Elite Model Management S.r.l., Enjoy S.r.l., Major Model Management S.r.l., Next Italy S.r.l., Why Not S.r.l. and Women Models S.p.a.) and their trade association (Assem) of € 4.5 million for alleged price collusion. According … Continue Reading

Misleading Terms & Conditions and Unfair Contract Terms: The Italian Competition Authority Opens Two Investigations against WhatsApp Inc.

On 28 October 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) opened two investigations against WhatsApp Inc. for alleged unfair commercial practices. The first investigation by the Authority alleges that WhatsApp Inc. would have forced users to subscribe to new terms and conditions, in particular, a clause on the sharing of data with Facebook, by making … Continue Reading

Ad hoc Local Leniency Application Makes the Difference: The Italian Council of State Upholds the Administrative Court of Lazio Judgment on the Alleged International Road Freight Cartel

On 20 October 2016, the Italian Council of State (the “Council of State”) upheld the judgment of the Administrative Court of Lazio (“TAR”) on the cartel in the sector of international road freight forwarding to and from Italy and confirmed the ranking applied in granting the reduction of the fine. According to the Council of … Continue Reading

Activation of Premium Services, The Italian Competition Authority Fines Telepass for Unfair Commercial Practices

On 20 October 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) fined Telepass of EUR 200,000 for alleged unfair commercial practices. According to the Authority, Telepass would have activated a premium service (premium option extra) to consumers, who activated the simple premium option, without their consent. In particular, Telepass would have adopted a mechanism based on … Continue Reading

Italian Competition Authority Updates Merger Control Turnover Thresholds

The Italian Competition Authority has updated its merger control turnover thresholds. Effective 14 March 2016, Section 16(1) of Law no. 287 of 10 October 1990 requires prior notification of all mergers and acquisitions where both the following conditions are fulfilled: Aggregate turnover in Italy of all undertakings involved is above € 495 million (revised under the terms of … Continue Reading

Intellectual Property and Antitrust: Italian Chapter

McDermott has authored the Italian chapter of the 2016 edition of “Intellectual Property & Antitrust” published by Getting the Deal Through, a valuable work tool for legal practitioners dealing with intellectual property and competition law. This chapter addresses the statutes for granting IP rights, enforcement options and remedies, as well as the interplay between Italian … Continue Reading

Italian Merger Control Thresholds – New Revisions

The Italian Competition Authority has updated its merger control turnover thresholds. Effective today, 16 March 2015, Section 16(1) of Law no. 287 of 10 October 1990 requires prior notification of all mergers and acquisitions where both the following conditions are fulfilled: Aggregate turnover in Italy of all undertakings involved is above EUR 492 million (revised under … Continue Reading

New Joint Protocol of the Italian Competition Authority and the Italian Tax Police

The Italian Competition Authority and the Italian Tax Police (Guardia di Finanza) signed a new Joint Protocol, which provides increased mutual exchange of information and closer cooperation in the context of investigations for alleged breach of antitrust, unfair commercial practices and misleading advertising rules. The new Joint Protocol also sets out specific means of collaboration … Continue Reading

Court of Justice of the European Union Rejects the Appeal of Italian National Extradited to the United States for Price-Fixing Violation

On February 9, the Court of Justice of the European Union made public its January 28, 2015 order rejecting the appeal of Mr. Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national who was extradited from Germany to the United States in April 2014 for his role in the marine hose price-fixing conspiracy. On July 2, 2014, the General … Continue Reading

Significant Number of Dawn Raids Shows Increased Antitrust and Criminal Law Enforcement in Italian Pharmaceutical Sector

On 27 November, the Italian Competition Authority dawn raided a major South African company for alleged excessive pricing of its oncology products in Italy. According to a complaint by one of the most active consumer associations in Italy, the group would have required the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) to align the price of its products, … Continue Reading

Getting the Deal Through: Pharmaceutical Antitrust 2014

McDermott has contributed to the Italian chapter of the 2014 edition of “Pharmaceutical Antitrust” published by Getting the Deal Through, a valuable work tool for legal practitioners dealing with antitrust rules in the pharmaceutical sector.  The chapter addresses the most significant regulatory and antitrust issues affecting the marketing, authorization and pricing of pharmaceutical products in … Continue Reading

New Italian Competition Authority’s Regulation on Legality Rating Certification

On 4 July 2014, the new regulation on legality rating certification by the Italian Competition Authority entered into force. The legality rating is designed to facilitate companies’ access to credit from banks and public financial support. Certification is expressed in a score of between one and three stars and is issued by the Italian Competition … Continue Reading

The Case of Ophthalmic Drugs in Italy and France: A Lesson to Learn – Parallel Antitrust Investigations and Cooperation Between National Competition Authorities

The recent investigations into two pharmaceutical companies active in the ophthalmic drugs market in Italy and France serve as a reminder of the cooperation that takes place between national competition authorities. International groups should therefore take into account all the jurisdictions where they have a presence or do business when developing their antitrust audit and … Continue Reading

Italian Merger Control Thresholds Update

The Italian Competition Authority has updated its merger control turnover thresholds. Effective from 10 March 2014, Section 16 (1) of Law No 287 of 10 October 1990 requires prior notification of all mergers and acquisitions where: Aggregate turnover in Italy of all undertakings involved is above EUR 489 million, and Aggregate turnover in Italy of … Continue Reading

Class Actions in Italy: Milan Court of Appeal Adopts Wider Interpretation of Admissibility

On 3 March 2014, the Milan Court of Appeal overturned a previous decision issued by the Milan Tribunal, declaring a class action brought by an Italian consumers association, Altroconsumo, against local railway operator Trenord as non-admissible. On 8 November 2013, the Milan Tribunal had dismissed the class action started by Altroconsumo on the grounds inter … Continue Reading

Italian Competition Authority Releases New Guidelines on Competitive Bids

On October 26, 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (the Authority) published its new guidelines on competitive bids.  The guidelines are intended to help contracting entities to recognize and inform the Authority of potentially anti-competitive behavior during the awarding procedure. According to the guidelines, potential anti-competitive behavior is more likely in markets with few competitors (or … Continue Reading

Italy’s Competition Chair and Minister of Justice Confirm That ad hoc Compliance Programs Will Continue to be Considered as a Mitigating Factor

On 24 October 2013, Chair of the Italian Competition Authority, Giovanni Pitruzzella, and Italy’s Minister of Justice, Anna Maria Cancellieri, spoke in favour of effective ad hoc antitrust compliance programs and their value as a mitigating factor in investigations.  Mr Pitruzzella underlined the importance of an effective compliance program because “imposing fines is not appreciated … Continue Reading

Italian Competition Authority Mandatory Fee Due by 31 July 2014

by Veronica Pinotti, Martino Sforza and Nicolò di Castelnuovo The Italian Competition Authority has decided that the 2014 mandatory annual fee due by limited companies based in Italy, that have total revenues exceeding EUR 50 million, will have to be paid by July 31, 2014, while for the current year no payment is due. Entities Subject to the … Continue Reading

Italian Competition Authority Mandatory Fee Due by 30 October 2012

by Veronica Pinotti, Martino Sforza and Nicolò Di Castelnuovo In response to significant feedback, the Italian Competition Authority (the Authority) clarified the following issues concerning the new mandatory fee that was discussed in our recent blog post, Italian Competition Authority Mandatory Fee Due by 30 October 2012: In relation to foreign companies, only those registered … Continue Reading

Italian Competition Authority Mandatory Fee Due by 30 October 2012

by Veronica Pinotti and Martino Sforza From 1 October 2012 until 30 October 2012, public limited companies based in Italy that have total revenues exceeding EUR 50 million must pay to the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) a new mandatory fee, which replaces the current filing fees for merger transactions. Entities Subject to the Fee Public limited … Continue Reading

Liberalizations Decree: Main Relevant Changes and Powers of the Italian Competition Authority

by Veronica Pinotti and Martino Sforza.  The main developments in antitrust are: 1. Merger Control (Art. 5-bis) From January 1, 2013: The Italian merger control thresholds will be cumulative and no longer alternative (i.e. the combined turnover in Italy of all undertakings concerned exceeds € 468 million AND the Italian turnover of the target exceeds € … Continue Reading

Italy’s Competition Chair Confirms That ad hoc Compliance Programs Will Continue to be Considered as a Mitigating Factor

by Veronica Pinotti and Martino Sforza On March 6, 2012, the members of the Italian Antitrust Association met with the new Chair of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), Giovanni Pitruzzella. During the meeting, Pitruzella stated that ad hoc qualitative compliance programs will continue to be considered as an effective mitigating factor, confirming the ICA’s attitude … Continue Reading
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