Comparative Guides

Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.

Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.

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4. Results: Answers
Cartels
6.
Penalties and sanctions
6.1
What penalties may be imposed in criminal proceedings on companies? What penalties may be imposed on individuals?
Italy

Answer ... Pursuant to Article 15 of Law 287/90, the Italian Competition Authority may impose fines of up to 10% of the worldwide turnover (ie, the turnover of the entire group, including the ultimate parent company) of each party to the cartel in the previous financial year.

There are no sanctions for individuals under Italian competition law. However, individuals who are involved in bid rigging in the context of public procurement procedures may also commit a criminal offence under Articles 353, 353-bis and 354 of the Italian Criminal Code. Criminal liability may also be triggered by speculative conduct aimed at limiting the production or increasing the prices of raw materials, food products or first-need products (Article 501-bis of the Italian Criminal Code). The sanctions include both fines and

For more information about this answer please contact: Paolisa Nebbia from Shearman & Sterling LLP
6.2
What penalties may be imposed in civil proceedings on companies? What penalties may be imposed on individuals?
Italy

Answer ... A company may be the target of damages claims brought in civil courts by the victims of the alleged cartel (see questions 8.1 to 8.6).

Any liability of individuals will follow the rules of the Civil Code for actions for damages against members of the administrative board and auditors (Articles 2392 and 2407).

For more information about this answer please contact: Paolisa Nebbia from Shearman & Sterling LLP
6.3
How are penalties in cartel cases determined? In deciding on the applicable penalties, will the enforcement authorities consider penalties imposed in other jurisdictions?
Italy

Answer ... The criteria for setting fines are set out in Italian Competition Authority Decision 2512/2014, Guidelines on calculation of fines imposed by the Authority pursuant to Section 15 of Law. 287/1990.

The main elements of the guidelines can be summarised as follows:

  • The minimum ‘floor’ of a fine is calculated based on the value of the undertaking’s annual turnover in the relevant market in the past full year. Depending on the severity of the violation, this amount may be up to 30% of the undertaking’s turnover. For the most serious infringements, the minimum percentage should be no less than 15% of the value of sales.
  • In case of a serious competition law violation, the basic fine will be adjusted upwards by between 15% and 25% of the value of sales.
  • The criteria for assessing the gravity of the offence include:
    • the competitive conditions in the relevant market;
    • prejudice against innovation; and
    • the extent of the actual economic effects or – more generally – the effects on the market and consumers, where these can be reliably estimated.

There is no legal provision requesting the Italian Competition Authority to consider fines imposed in other jurisdictions.

For more information about this answer please contact: Paolisa Nebbia from Shearman & Sterling LLP
6.4
Can a defendant company pay the legal costs incurred by and/or penalties imposed on its employees?
Italy

Answer ... Not applicable.

For more information about this answer please contact: Paolisa Nebbia from Shearman & Sterling LLP
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Cartels