On 6 September 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) accepted the commitments made by the Italian company Enel Distribuzione S.p.A. (“Enel”) and closed the in-depth investigation in the smart metering sector started last December, as previously reported in our newsletter.

Enel is one of the companies of the state-owned Enel Group and operates both in the market for the distribution of electrical energy and in the market for smart metering services.

The ICA alleged that Enel implemented a conduct aimed at hindering competitors commercial activity in the market for smart metering services, infringing Article 102 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), the prohibition against the abuse of dominance.

Enel proposed commitments in order to remove the anti-competitive issues raised by the ICA, which may be summarised as follows:

Enel would not remove competitors' electronic systems from its electrical energy meters without reasonable justification;

Enel would provide competitors with adequate interface information allowing competitors devices to work properly; and

Enel would also permit the remote monitoring of energy consumption, in cases where measuring meters were not physically accessible by competitors.

The ICA found such commitments were sufficient to render the market of smart metering services perfectly viable and closed the investigation.

It is likely that this decision will help provide consumers and businesses with cost savings.