A531 - The Italian Competition Authority opened proceedings against COREPLA for alleged unlawful conducts in the market for compliance services of household plastic packaging waste


On 30 April 2019, the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation against COREPLA - the National Consortium for the Collection, Recycling and Recovery of Plastic Packaging - to assess an alleged abuse of a dominant position in violation of Art. 102 of the TFEU.

In particular, COREPLA is currently the only operator active in the market for compliance services of household plastic packaging waste (implementing the Extended Producer Responsibility obligations -EPR-), where it thus holds a dominant position. To safeguard its monopolistic position in the aforesaid market, COREPLA would have allegedly hindered the market entrance of a potential competitor, CoRiPET, a new association set up by producers of PET bottles, provisionally recognised by ministerial decree to manage its own EPR system. CoRiPET, amongst other things, plans to install, when fully operational, a large network of automatic collectors capable of receiving empty PET bottles directly from end consumers.

The allegedly abusive conducts would consist in COREPLA claiming exclusive rights on all the household plastic packaging waste, wherever collected in Italy, as well as enforcing exclusive clauses with the selection platforms and auctioning all the material thus obtained.

COREPLA, in fact, refused to negotiate a temporary agreement with CoRiPET to allow the latter to obtain the plastic PET packaging waste originating by market operators belonging to its consortium, which since January 2019, pay the environmental contribution to CoRiPET and no longer to the CONAI-COREPLA system. COREPLA's conducts appear to be deliberately aimed at preventing the new comer from developing its activity and at preserving its market position.

Today AGCM’s officers have carried out inspections, with the support of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Guardia di Finanza, at the premises of the undertakings involved.

The investigation shall be concluded by 30 April 2020.

Rome, 8 May 2019