Interconnection services in the PSTN: Italian Communications Guarantee Authority launches a public consultation
On April 29, 2021, with the Resolution no. 151/21/CONS, the Italian Communications Guarantee Authority (in Italian “Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni”, “AGCOM”) launched a public consultation on the review of the market analysis of interconnection services on the landline, currently regulated by the Resolution no. 425/16/CONS.
In particular, AGCOM proposes to:
- remove regulation of TIM S.p.A. in the origination market and to notify which operators with significant market power (“SMP”) are providing or are ready to provide landline services;
- maintain the current termination rates until the entry into force (as of July 1, 2021) of the single European termination rate defined by the European Commission.
Freedom of choice of terminal equipment for internet access: Italian Communications Guarantee Authority fines Wind €480,000.00
With the Injunction of April 21, 2021, the Italian Communications Guarantee Authority (in Italian “Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni”, the “AGCOM”) fined Wind Tre S.p.A. for violating the provisions of Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and Article 4, paragraph 1, letter b) of Resolution no. 348/18/CONS, on the end-users’ right to choose between various types of terminal equipment for Internet access.
In particular, AGCOM found that Wind:
- has not guaranteed – since mid-April 2020 – the effective availability of the “WindTre Absolute” offer in FTTH technology with respect to the “Super Fibra” offer; and
- failed to provide, for each of the online editions of the “Super Fibra” offer, a corresponding offer without terminal equipment not including the relevant costs.
Therefore, at the end of the proceedings, AGCOM imposed on Wind an administrative fine of €480,000.00, warning it not to perform any activity and/or conduct in breach of the provisions mentioned in the Injunction.
Crypto-assets: Italian Companies and Exchange Commission and Bank of Italy focus on risks for the public
With the press release of April 28, 2021, the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission (in Italian, “Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa”, “CONSOB”) and the Bank of Italy called the attention of the public and, in particular, of small savers, to the risks connected with the operativity in crypto-assets.
In particular, due to the lack of a regulatory framework, cryptocurrency trading presents a variety of risks, including:
- the limited availability of information on how prices are determined;
- the market volatility;
- the complexity of the relevant underlying technologies;
- the lack of legal and contractual safeguards, disclosure obligations on operators and specific oversight of operators, as well as rules to protect the sums invested;
- losses due to malfunctions, cyber attacks or loss of access credentials to electronic wallets.
Italian Communications Guarantee Authority launches a survey on new possible uses of radio spectrum for vertical sectors
With the Resolution no. 131/21/CONS, Italian Communications Guarantee Authority (in Italian “Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni”, the “AGCOM”) AGCOM launched a survey on new ways of using the radio spectrum for vertical music sectors.
Several EU interventions have deal with this topic, including, by way of example:
- Commission Recommendation (EU) 2020/1307 on a common Union toolbox for reducing the cost of deploying very high capacity networks and ensuring timely and investment-friendly access to 5G radio spectrum, to foster connectivity in support of economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in the Union;
- Toolbox, a set of best practices for connectivity in Europe, implementing the aforementioned Recommendation;
- Digital Compass 2030 “The European Way for the Digital decade”;
- Draft Opinion on a Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (“RSPP”) by the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (“RSPG”).
In light of the European framework above, AGCOM, as the European pioneer authority for the regulation of the simultaneous assignment and use of 5G local frequencies, proposed to evaluate the necessary regulatory tools, including in particular local licensing, leasing, spectrum sharing, forms of light licensing, use of unlicensed spectrum (so-called, direct assignment mechanisms of the spectrum for local use), as well as all other issues relating to private networks.
Abuse of dominant position: Italian Antitrust Authority fines Google over €100,000.00
With the press release of May 13, 2021, the Italian Antitrust Authority (in Italian “Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza ed il Mercato”, the “AGCM”) released the fine of over 100,000.00 euros imposed on the company Alphabet Inc., as well as Google LLC and Google Italy S.r.l. (jointly, “Google”), for abuse of dominant position, in violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFUE”).
In particular, the AGCM held that the Google’s refusal to allow Enel X Italia’s JuicePass app to interoperate with Android Auto (by favoring its own Google maps app) would result in a significant limitation of consumers’ freedom of choice, as well as an obstacle to technological progress.
The AGCM also specified the conduct to be integrated by Google, in order to avoid further negative effects from the exclusion of the JuicePass app, requiring as well to make available tools for the programming of software interoperable with Android Auto to Enel X and other app developers.
Italian Antitrust Authority begins a proceeding against StockX for suspected unfair commercial practices
With the press release of May 19, 2021, the Italian Antitrust Authority (in Italian “Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza ed il Mercato”, the “AGCM”) announced the initiation of preliminary proceedings against StockX LLC, site manager of stockx.com/en/ that allows users to buy and sell consumer goods (including sneakers, streetwear and collectibles).
In particular, the proceedings is aimed at ascertaining the following alleged misconducts:
- during the offer/purchase process of the products marketed on the platform, the total absence of any indication of the seller’s identity;
- misleading presentation of the sale price of the products;
- lack of clarity on the professionals’ identity operating on the platform as sellers, on their contact details, the legal guarantee of conformity and the right of withdrawal.
Italian Antitrust Authority’s reporting and advisory activities: the Weekly Dispatch of 27 April
On April 27, 2021, the Italian Antitrust Authority (in Italian “Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza ed il Mercato”, the “AGCM”) published the Weekly Dispatch (Year XXXI – no. 17), detailing the results of its reporting and advisory activities.
In particular, the AGCM expressed its opinion, in regard of:
- the public bidding, called by ACI Informatica S.p.A. (“ACI”), for the awarding of the notification by post of judicial acts and related communications for the injunction of motor vehicle tax roles service, pursuant to Law no. 890/1982 and subsequent amendments and additions, considering it to be in contrast with the rules and principles for competition and the market protection, in particular with article 41 of the Italian Constitution and articles 49, 53, 56 and 59 of the TFEU;
- the Draft Guidelines of the Italian Anti-Corruption Authority (in Italian “Autorità Nazionale Anticorruzione”, the “ANAC”) about “Instructions on the in-house procurement regarding services available on the market on a competitive basis pursuant to art. 192, paragraph 2, of Legislative Decree no. 50 of April 18, 2016 and subsequent amendments and additions”, in response to the observations request, pursuant to art. 22 of Law no. 287/1990;
- the resolution of the Municipal Council of Capri of November 25, 2020, no. 162, having on the “Extension ex lege of the maritime state-property concessions in line with the acts of sector IV ll.pp. until 31/12/2033 pursuant to and for the purposes of art. 1 paragraph 682 and 683 of Law 145 of 2018 – extension ex lege, directives to the offices for the formation of the acts”, deliberating negatively in terms of compliance with the competition regulation;
- the comparative procedure of the Municipal Administration of Capri, pursuant to articles 37 of the Navigation Code (R.D. March 30, 1942, no. 327) and 18 of its implementing regulation (Presidential Decree February 15, 1952, no. 328) for the assignment of state-owned maritime concessions in its municipal territory.