CV220-CV221 - ICA: two investigations launched against the Brescia and Lecce football teams for unfair clauses in season ticket contracts
Italian Competition Authority launched two new investigations regarding unfair contract clauses against Serie A football clubs Brescia Calcio S.p.A. and Unione Sportiva Lecce S.p.A..
The proceedings follow the non-acceptance of the invitation sent to the clubs, on 24 January 2020, whereby the Authority requested the removal from their respective contractual terms and conditions of clauses that could be deemed unfair.
The same invitation was also made to SPAL S.r.l. and Hellas Verona Football Club S.p.A. who then modified their general terms and conditions of contract, removing the possibly unfair aspects highlighted in the letters of moral suasion, so that the Authority has since archived the relevant proceedings.
The aim of the investigation launched against Brescia Calcio S.p.A. and Unione Sportiva Lecce S.p.A. is, therefore, to evaluate the possible unfair nature of some clauses contained in the general terms and conditions of the annual season ticket contract.
Specifically, these are the clauses that appear to be drafted in a way that is unclear and incomprehensible, that give the clubs the right to unilaterally modify the contractual terms and conditions of season tickets and, finally, that exclude consumer rights:
- to obtain reimbursement of part of the season ticket both due to facts attributable to the club and the supervening impossibility to use the service, involving the total or partial closure of the stadium;
- to obtain compensation for damages where such events are directly attributable to the club.
In particular, these clauses could be deemed unfair pursuant to articles 33, 34 and 35 of the Consumer Code, because, by excluding or limiting the liability of the football clubs, they could lead to a significant imbalance for consumers in the contractual services provided.
Nine other proceedings are currently ongoing against the following sports clubs: Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio S.p.A., Cagliari Calcio S.p.A., Genoa Cricket and Football Club S.p.A., F.C. Internazionale Milano S.p.A., S.S. Lazio S.p.A., A.C. Milan S.p.A., Juventus Football Club S.p.A., A.S. Roma S.p.A. and Udinese Calcio S.p.A..
Rome, 20 July 2020