A557 - Italian Competition Authority: investigation initiated against Enel for possible abuse of dominant position in the e-mobility sector
According to the Authority, the companies Enel X Way S.r.l, Enel X Way Italia S.r.l. and Ewiva S.r.l. may have engaged in exclusionary conduct towards non-integrated competitors active in providing electric charging services.
The Italian Competition Authority has initiated an investigation against Enel group companies active in the e-mobility sector. The entities operating as Charging Point Operators (CPOs) (Enel X Way Italia and Ewiva, the latter a joint venture with the Volkswagen group dedicated to developing higher power infrastructures), seem to hold a dominant position in the markets for installing and managing electric charging points on the national territory.
In particular, Enel X Way S.r.l., Enel X Way Italia S.r.l. and Ewiva S.r.l. are accused of an alleged abuse of a dominant position by squeezing the margins of operators active in providing electric recharging services to end customers (so-called Mobility Service Providers - MSPs). These companies are in fact found to charge “wholesale” prices (so-called roaming tariffs, within the interoperability contracts with the various MSPs) for access to their points that are insufficient to allow a minimum profitability when compared with the retail prices charged to end customers by the group company active as an MSP through its “Enel X Way” app. According to the Authority, this would be the case both with reference to retail consumer prices and - even more so - with reference to so-called “packages” or “flat offers” that allow a certain number of kWh per month to be withdrawn at a predetermined overall rate.
Such conduct appears capable to exclude currently active MSPs from the market and to potentially limit the entry of other non-integrated operators that might be interested in this developing market, also due to the possible offer of new services in support of innovative electric mobility.
Yesterday, Authority officials carried out inspections on the premises of Enel X Way S.r.l., Enel X Way Italia S.r.l., Ewiva S.r.l. and of some of the companies that are not parties to the proceedings, with the assistance of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Finance Police.
Rome, 14 April 2023