IP342-IP343-PS11681-PS11885-PS12030-PS12054 - ICA: about 5 million euro fines against nine companies for aggressive and misleading commercial practices
Mulpor Company S.r.l., Ibcm -International Business Convention Management Ltd, Seo Marketing S.L., Inversiones Dgsm S.r.l., C.L.Business Conflict Solutions Management Ltd, Credit Intelligence Kft, Wipot d.o.o., Servizi Imprese di Palma Roberto and Medianet One S.r.l. registered micro-enterprises in their databases that had not requested it and demanded large sums from them
Between July and October 2021, the Italian Antitrust Authority fined the companies Mulpor Company S.r.l., Ibcm - International Business Convention Management Ltd, Seo Marketing S.L., Inversiones Dgsm S.r.l., C.L. Business Conflict Solutions Management Ltd, Credit Intelligence Kft, Wipot d.o.o., Servizi Imprese di Palma Roberto e Medianet One S.r.l. for approximately 5 million euro in total because of aggressive and misleading commercial practices. The nine companies registered micro-enterprises in their databases that had not requested it and demanded the payment of large sums from them.
These practices are widespread throughout the national territory and are taking on new and increasingly insidious forms in order to unduly influence the decision-making process of micro-enterprises, taking advantage of their fear of being disadvantaged by not having fulfilled the requirements that are proposed as necessary. According to the Authority, these practices, which are generally carried out by foreign companies, are often followed by an intense activity of recovery of the unjustly claimed credit, through reminders, warnings and sometimes with the threat of taking international legal action for coercive recovery, which may result as particularly costly.
Below are the cases sanctioned by the Antitrust:
- Mulpor Company S.r.l. and Ibcm - International Business Convention Management Ltd have disseminated to hundreds of micro-enterprises misleadingly structured communications, in their form and content, as if they came from the organising body of one or more trade fairs in which they had recently participated, in order to obtain the subscription of a costly advertising service. Ibcm, in particular, has continued to send misled micro-enterprises reminders, warnings and threats of proceeding with the coercive collection of what is unjustly claimed through international legal actions.
- Seo Marketing S.L. has continued to send misleading communications to some micro-enterprises to induce them to subscribe to an advertising service, accessible through the website www.eu-businessregister.com, also demanding the payment for the service that had never been requested knowingly.
Mulpor Company S.r.l., Ibcm - International Business Convention Management Ltd and Seo Marketing S.L. were found to be in breach of previous decisions taken by the Italian Anti-trust Authority.
- Inversiones Dgsm S.r.l., C.L. Business Conflict Solutions Management Ltd and Credit Intelligence Kft have induced, without awareness, to subscribe to a three-year subscription to the database linked to the website http://www.expo-guide.com, demanding payment through harassing reminders, intimidating expressions and threats of costly and reckless international legal actions. In this case, in December 2020, an interim measure ordering the suspension of the activities related to "Expo Guide" was issued, due to the involvement of numerous Italian micro-enterprises and the aggressiveness of the practice.
- Wipot d.o.o., by exploiting a name and logo that can be easily confused with those of institutional organisations in charge of the protection of intellectual property (such as Wipo), requested the payment of more than 900 euro for a requirement misleadingly presented as mandatory and coming from an international institution. In fact, the sum requested had to remunerate the unaware registration to an advertising service offered by the company.
- Servizi Imprese di Palma Roberto and Medianet One S.r.l. have sent misleading communications to newly incorporated micro-enterprises, including a pre-filled postal slip with the company data of the target enterprise. Furthermore, they demanded the payment of amounts between 268 euro and 315 euro, erroneously implying that these sums were related to the registration with the Chamber of Commerce.
Rome, 26 January 2022