On 11 May 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the "ICA") opened an in-depth investigation into Net Service S.p.A. (the "Accused Company"), an Italian company, providing basic computer systems for creating and managing the technological infrastructures underlying the Italian Online Civil Procedure for legal actions (the “OCP”).
The ICA has alleged that the conduct of the Accused Company could amount to an abuse of dominance in contravention of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU").
In particular, the ICA is concerned that the Accused Company, which has a dominant market position, is abusing using its dominant position in the downstream market for the production and distribution of application software connected to the OCP.
The ICA alleges that the Accused Company could be communicating non-complete and delayed technical information to its competitors on the abovementioned downstream market, so that the other companies are not able to implement and place on the market their new products before those manufactured by the Accused Company.
The alleged wrongdoing has yet to be proven at this stage and the investigation continues. However, the ICA has opined that such conduct, if proven, would amount to an infringement of Article 102 TFEU on the grounds that: (i) it would adversely affect trade within the EU and (ii) the Accused Company has achieved the dominant position on the upstream market not for its own ability but because of licenses granted by the State.