PS12029 - ICA: 1.2 million euro fine imposed on Iliad for misleading commercial practices


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According to the Authority, the operator advertised some mobile phone offers by omitting or providing unclear information on the conditions required to be able to use 5G technology

The Italian Competition Authority has closed an investigation into Iliad Italia S.r.l., imposing on the company a fine of 1,200,000 euro for the omission and/or misleading presentation of essential information on mobile phone offers including services with 5G technology, and for the misleading formulation of a promotional message relating to one of these offers.

The Authority found that Iliad, in violation of Articles 21 and 22 of the Italian Consumer Code, advertised certain mobile phone offers, emphasising their compatibility with the latest 5G technology (where included), but totally omitting or providing unclear information on the conditions required to be able to use that technology, such as the verification of the coverage of Iliad's 5G network and with the specific 5G technology supported by the operator's network.

These promotional communications were therefore not suitable to make consumers understand that, in order to be able to use the 5G network included in Iliad’s offers, it was necessary to be under that operator's geographical coverage of the 5G network, and that it was necessary to own a device enabled for that specific network. Indeed, a smartphone, even one that is 5G-enabled in general, cannot guarantee access to Iliad's 5G network unless it is included among the devices enabled to browse that specific network.

In addition, the Italian Competition Authority has ascertained that Iliad has used the claim "100 GB, unlimited minutes and text messages in Italy and Europe" in a text message sent to its former customers to promote the "Flash 100 5G" offer. The text of this message was deemed by the Authority as likely to mislead consumers as to the content of the offer, since they could believe that the 100 GB included in the offer were all usable for traffic in Europe, whereas, actually, in the case of a connection from other European countries, the data traffic included in the offer was only 6 GB.

Rome, 29 March 2022