Italian Antitrust Authority fines four energy companies for a total amount of over 4 million euros
The Italian Antitrust Authority (in Italian, “Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato”, “AGCM”) concluded six investigations for unfair commercial practices in the presentation of economic conditions for the supply of electricity and gas on the free market.
Specifically, four investigations resulted in the establishment of deceptive and omissive conduct in the indication of electricity and/or gas supply costs and penalties against four companies for a total amount of over 4 million euros. The Authority closed the other two investigations by accepting the undertakings proposed by the companies.
Italian Antitrust Authority fines a water utility company for 600 thousand euros
The AGCM imposed a penalty of 600 thousand euros on a water utility company operating in Abruzzo – an Italian region – for complying partially and late with the information obligations provided by the two-year prescription regulation, and for rejecting some claims related to the water consumption invoiced from January 1, 2020. Indeed, as of that date, the two-year prescription provision also applies to water services, and, so, consumers can object to it for the amounts referred to the consumption dating back more than two years from the date the bill was issued.
The Authority deemed that the company’s conduct constituted an unfair commercial practice, because it was contrary to professional diligence and able to significantly mislead the consumer’s economic behavior in relation to a service of primary interest.
Italian Communications Guarantee Authority fines one of the most important operators in the e-commerce platform sector
With resolution no. 117/22/CONS published on May 11, 2022, the Italian Communications Guarantee Authority (in Italian, “Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni”, “AGCOM”) fined a well-known provider of logistics services related to the distribution of goods a penalty of 50,000 euros for violating the “Direttiva generale per l’adozione da parte dei fornitori di servizi postali delle carte dei servizi” (General Directive for the adoption by postal service providers of service charters), relating to failure to provide a free customer service telephone number on the website.
The AGCOM clarified that a procedure (“Click to call”), which allows the user to access telephone support free of charge by clicking on the appropriate button to request to be called at the number given at the time of registration, does not constitute an equivalent measure to the free direct call made by the user to the number listed on the website.
Italian Communications Guarantee Authority approves the new ANAC-AGCOM Guidelines for the awarding of public contracts for postal services
With resolution no. 116/22/CONS published on May 6, 2022, the AGCOM approved the italian “Linee guida ANAC-AGCOM per l’affidamento degli appalti pubblici di servizi postali” (Guidelines for the awarding of public contracts for postal services) and the related regulatory impact analysis report.
These Guidelines, published in the Official Gazette of Italian Republic on May 4, 2022, replace those approved by the Italian Anti-Corruption Authority in Determination no. 3 of December 9, 2014.
Italian Communications Guarantee Authority publishes the Framework Agreement for the application of mobile number portability rules
In light of the clarifications requested by AGCOM in resolution no. 86/21/CIR., on May 11, 2022, the Framework Agreement for the application of mobile number portability rules (MNP) submitted by mobile operators was published.
This Framework Agreement encats and regulates the principles, provisions, obligations, faculties, technical-administrative procedures, methods, timing and economic and general conditions for the implementation of the mobile number portability service mutually provided by the participating mobile operators.
The Italian Supreme Court rules on proof of a trademark’s distinctiveness
With the judgment no. 5491/2022, the Italian Supreme Court ruled on how to assess the distinctiveness of a trademark represented by a colored rectangular strip.
In particular, the Supreme Court held that the trademark’s distinctiveness and the public’s perception of it do not necessarily have to be proved through demoscopic surveys, under the principle of freedom of the judge to form his opinion on the basis of any possible means of evidence.