Monthly telephone billing. The Italian Competition Authority order the precautionary suspension of the agreement, object of the proceedings: the operators shall define their own independent offer


At its meeting of March 21st, 2018, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA)resolved to adopt certain precautionary measures within the investigation launched last February, in order to assess the subsistence of an agreement between TIM, Vodafone, Fastweb and Wind Tre. These companies, through the category association Assotelecomunicazioni - Asstel, would have coordinated their own business strategy with regards to renewal timing and billing of the offers on fixed and mobile telephone markets, after the introduction of the new regulatory and legislative obligations foreseen by the art. 19 quinquiesdecies of Legislative Decree. n. 148/2017 (converted from Law n. 172/2017).

The ICA stated that the documentation acquired during the inspections confirms prima facie the investigation assumption, where the parties would have almost contextually communicated to their own clients that the invoicing of the offers and services would have been carried out on a monthly basis, rather than every four weeks, meanwhile providing an increase of the monthly fee, in order to distribute the total yearly expense on 12 months, instead of 13. Therefore in the delay of the conclusion of the proceedings, in order to avoid the occurrence, of serious and irreparable damage to the competition and, in last instance, to the consumers, the ICA adopted urgent precautionary measures ordering the operators to suspend the activation of this agreement, object of the investigation, and to define their own independent services offer.

Rome, 21 March, 2018