An administrative court in Italy annulled fines totalling €228 million imposed by the nation’s competition watchdog on four major operators in 2020 for allegedly colluding to increase prices of services.
The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio explained Italian competition authority ACGM had failed to submit sufficient evidence to support its reasons for fining Telecom Italia, Vodafone Italy, Wind Tre and Fastweb in January 2020.
In its ruling, the court said the fines should be annulled as AGCM could not prove operators had exchanged information to jointly implement a change in billing practices in 2018, which effectively increased monthly prices by 8.6 per cent.
When it issued the fines, AGCM accused the operators of forming an “anticompetitive cartel” by agreeing to switch billing cycles from 28 days to monthly.
Operators had claimed while the shift increased monthly bills, it had no impact on annual fees.
Reuters reported some domestic consumer groups reportedly objected to the court ruling.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back