Search terms: Competition, Italy
The recyclable waste management sector has been under scrutiny from the Competition Authority, which has raised several competition law concerns. However, debate continues as to whether the authority's preferred solution is appropriate. Moreover, it is unclear whether the consortia in the sector - which arguably provide services of general economic interest - are fully subject to competition rules.
Including: Legislative developments; Mergers; Cartels and other anti-competitive practices; Commitment cases; Abuse of dominant position; Court decisions.
The arrival of class actions is expected to prove a catalyst for private antitrust and consumer law enforcement. However, as well as the burden of proof for consumers and the use of regulatory decisions in follow-on actions, the regime raises difficult issues about the interplay between public and private enforcement. For example, if an undertaking applies for leniency, will its commitments provide ammunition for claimants?
In the past few years the European Commission and the Italian Competition Authority have both examined the retail banking sector and multilateral interchange fees. Seen in the context of the Italian regulator's previous interventions in the sector, the ongoing proceedings against MasterCard and several other banks could have significant consequences in the European context.
The Competition Authority has published the new pre-merger notification thresholds. Following a decision by the Council of State, the authority has also published a revised version of its notification form to clarify the meaning of a 'concentration'. The decision establishes that the mere acquisition of a commercial licence does not automatically constitute a 'concentration' under the act.
The Supreme Administrative Court recently addressed the controversial issue of the assessment of joint bidding under antitrust provisions prohibiting anti-competitive agreements. The applicable laws provide no prohibition for undertakings which individually meet the requirements to enter a bidding consortium. Therefore, case law has admitted 'over-dimensioned' bidding consortia.