A NEWSLETTER prepared by Graham & James LLP, Milan Office

February, 2000

NEW FIXED-MOBILE TELEPHONY RATES. Since February 17, 2000 the two mobile service rate categories "Family" and "Business" for fixed-mobile calls has been abolished in Italy, with the adoption of two common rates for both categories distinguished by hours (peak and evening) and by work days or week-ends. This radical revolution, which substantially reduces the family peak-hour rate among the highest in Europe, has raised both the "business" and evening "family" rates. But it is worth noting that on the whole, the average level of service rates has decreased, with a substantial reduction in the cost for the businesses that until now had to shoulder the cost of "Family" mobile phone during peak hours. This new rate plan is a consequence of the Communications Authority (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni) decision of December 6, 1999 no. 338 and of two Antitrust Authority (Autorità Garante della concorrenza e del mercato) opinions issued on January 4, 2000 and on December 1, 1999, which came at the end of a long investigation conducted last year in order to evaluate the compliance of the criteria contained in the European liberalization directives, such as the concept of "cost-oriented prices", "price cap", parity of treatment (both at national and European level) of "European best practice", as well as the general criteria of customer protection and reduction of distortion in the telecommunications market.

Source: The Communications Authority decision no. 338/99 of December 6, 1999 on the new fixed-mobile telephony rates can be found at: http://www.agcom.it, in the Bullettin of the Communication Authority and in the Official Gazette. It is also useful to take into account the Antitrust Authority opinion of December 1, 1999 AS189, in the Bullettin of the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato no. 49/1999, available on the website at http://www.agcm.it.

NEW RULES OF THE LAW FOR PROTECTION OF DISABLED EMPLOYEES. Law n. 68 of 12 March 1999, which came into effect on 18 January 2000, repealed Law n. 482 of 2 April 1968, the first to provide privileged access to the labour market for disabled Italian workers. The new law:

  • Increases the protection of disabled workers as established by Law n. 482.
  • Extends the duty to hire disabled people to small employers.
  • Sets new minimum compulsory quotas of disabled people to be hired.
  • Excludes non-compliant employers from public bids.

Eligible employers, whose number now includes small employers, i.e. those employing between sixteen and thirty-five employees, must file a yearly report with the local Labour Office in order to provide prescribed information about their labour organization.

Source: Law n. 68 of 12 March 1999, published in the Ordinary Supplement n. 57/L to the Official Gazette n. 68 of 23 March 1999.

Graham & James LLP is a leading full-service international law firm offering all principal corporate, financial, litigation and intellectual property practice capabilities. The firm and its affiliates comprise over 1,200 attorneys in 30 offices worldwide.