The Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) is investigating TIM, Vodafone and Wind on allegedy anti-competitive practices restricting the market access of the new “low-cost” virtual network operator BIP Mobile.
The proceeding started after BIP Mobile complained for an alleged agreement between the three operators – which concentrate 90% of the Italian mobile market – aiming at discouraging multi-brand retailers from entering into distribution agreements with the new operator by threatening the termination of trade agreements in place.
According to BIP Mobile, several multi-brand retailers with whom the MVNO concluded or was in the process of concluding distribution agreements, have withdrawn from their agreements and negotiations. The access to multi-brand retailers is a critical step for new operators considering the high costs of establishing their own exclusive retail network.
The investigation by the AGCM should be concluded by 30 September 2013.