On 28 January 2015, the Italian Competition Authority
("ICA") fined ten ferry services operators, active in the
Gulf of Naples and Salerno, for their failure to respect
commitments agreed on in a previous investigation.
In 2009, the ICA closed an investigation into a common
undertaking (CLMP) among ferry operators in the Gulf of Naples and
Salerno following commitments by the ferry operators not to share
and exchange confidential business information and to close down
their common undertaking. The undertakings concerned submitted
compliance reports to the ICA in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Following complaints filed by customers in 2010 concerning
increased tariffs for ferry services, the ICA decided to reopen and
expand its previous investigation to include, inter alia,
a new joint undertaking (Gescab), which had been created to
coordinate various activities of the ferry operators, including
During this new investigation, the ICA discovered that the ferry
operators had breached their previously agreed commitments: the
common undertaking that had been the subject of the previous
investigation (CLMP) had simply been replaced by a new one (Gescab)
and the coordination activities between the ferry operators that
had previously been investigated were still on-going. Moreover, the
ferry operators were allocating markets and revenues, fixing prices
and coordinating commercial and business decisions.
The ICA therefore decided to fine the ferry operators for their
failure to respect the agreed commitments and for an infringement
of Article 101 TFEU. The fines imposed total more than
€ 14 million. This is the first time that the ICA has
reopened an investigation which it had previously closed following
the acceptance of commitments.
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