Italy: Possible collusion ordered to stop

Italy’s antitrust authority has ordered Telecom Italia, Wind Tre, Vodafone Italia and Fastweb to halt any possible collusion over billing practices, pending the conclusion of its investigation. The authority is in the middle of an ongoing probe into the operators’ actions following the banning of 28-day bills and has already carried out inspections into whether the operators “coordinated their commercial strategy in relation to the frequency of renewals and billing of offers in the market of fixed and mobile telecommunications retail services following the introduction of new regulatory obligations.”

The regulator said documentation obtained during the inspections “confirms prima facie the preliminary hypothesis, according to which the parties communicated, almost at the same time… an increase in the monthly fee to distribute the total annual bills over 12 months instead of 13.”

The authority has taken urgent precautionary measures and ordered the operators to suspend implementation of any possible agreement between them and to define their offerings independently of competitors.

Full Content: Telecom Paper

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