SP182 - Italian Competition Authority: investigation launched against Poste Italiane


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According to the Authority, Poste Italiane has not made its entire network and post offices accessible to companies in direct competition with its subsidiary, PostePay, in the retail markets for electricity and natural gas. Together with the investigation, interim proceedings were also initiated.

The Italian Competition Authority has launched investigation proceedings against Poste Italiane to ascertain the existence of breaches of article 8, paragraph 2-quater of Law no. 287/1990.

Indeed, on the basis of this article, Poste Italiane should make the offices and the postal network (to which it has exclusive availability being the universal postal service provider) accessible to competitors of its subsidiary, PostePay, which uses them to market and promote Poste Energia offers in the electricity retail market.

According to some complaints, Poste Italiane did not make these assets or services accessible to some of PostePay’s competitors who recently requested them. In this way, it has given its subsidiary a significant competitive advantage, capable of irretrievably altering the competitive dynamics in a unique market context - characterised by the end of protected regimes in the supply of electricity and natural gas - in which active operators have strong incentives to attract customers from such protected regimes.

Together with the investigation, the Authority also initiated proceedings to adopt potential interim measures pursuant to article 14-bis of Law no. 287 of 1990, to restore a level playing field to the markets in question, which would have been distorted by the conduct being investigated.

Yesterday, officials from the Italian Competition Authority, aided by the Special Antitrust Unit of the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza), carried out inspections at the premises of the companies involved.

Rome, 8 February 2024