A568 - ICA: the AGCM investigates Ryanair for an alleged abuse of dominant position


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According to the Italian Competition Authority, the carrier’s conduct would harm travel agencies and consumers by attempting to extend its market power into the provision of other tourist services

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has opened an investigation regarding an alleged exclusionary abuse of dominant position by Ryanair DAC, the first air carrier in Italy offering scheduled air transport services of passengers on national flights and flights to and from Italy. The investigation has been initiated following several reports received by the Authority since last May.

In AGCM preliminary view, Ryanair DAC is leveraging on its dominant position in several markets of air transport sector in order to extend its market power also into the offer of other tourist services (such as hotels and car rental), harming travel agencies - both online and offline – as well as clients that buy from such agencies those other services. In particular, on one side Ryanair appears to impede travel agencies from directly acquiring airline tickets through their own websites; on the other side, Ryanair permits the purchase of airline tickets exclusively for traditional travel agencies via the GDS platform, subjecting them to considerably less favorable conditions in terms of pricing, range of available services, and post-sale management of airline tickets.

Ryanair's conduct seeks to restrict travel agencies from selling airline tickets, which is typically the initial step in planning a holiday and a crucial entry point for selling additional services. As such, it could have adverse consequences on both travel agencies and end-consumers, leading to a deterioration of conditions, both in terms of quantity and quality, and unjustified difficulties in managing reservations.

Rome, 20 September 2023