The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) requests a rapid reform of Taxi and C&DH sector
The sector of non-scheduled mobility (taxis and C&DH) is governed by a 25-year old law (Law No. 21 of 15 January 1992) and requires comprehensive reform. In this respect, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has sent a complaint to the Italian Parliament and the Government to report and emphasise the need to bring legislation into line with market evolution.
The ICA considers that the path to be pursued for the reform of the sector should first streamline existing rules and regulations. To this end, greater flexibility should be ensured for individual holders of a taxi license and, at the same time, the provisions that limit the activity of car-and-driver hire (C&DH) operators on a regional basis should be eliminated. These reforms would ensure full equivalence of operators with a taxi license and those with C&DH authorisation on the supply side, and would facilitate the development of more innovative and beneficial forms of consumer service (such as Uber black and Mytaxi).
The reform should also cover the services that connect non-professional drivers and end users via digital platforms (such as the Uber Pop service). Such regulation - taking into account the need to balance the safeguarding of competition with other legitimate interests such as road safety and passenger safety - should be the least invasive possible, limited to requiring the platforms to be registered in a public register and the identification of a number of requirements and obligations – including tax related ones - for both drivers and platforms.
It is clear that these measures would result in an immediate extension of the offer of non-scheduled mobility services to the benefit of end consumers. The prospect of success of such a reform in the pro-competition sense is, however, linked to the adoption of appropriate measures to limit as far as possible the social impact of opening the market. For the benefit of the taxi drivers in service at the time of the entry into force of the new legislation, the ICA therefore suggests some forms of compensation that could be financed by the creation of a fund financed by the new operators and by the higher revenue deriving from possible changes to taxation.
Rome, 10 March 2017