On 21 March 2017 the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) opened an in-depth investigation into several companies (namely, CNS – Consorzio Nazionale Servizi Società Cooperativa, Dussman Service S.r.l., Engie Service S.p.A., ManitalIdea S.p.A., Manutencoop Facility Man-agement S.p.A., Romeo Gestioni S.p.A. and STI S.p.A., hereinafter the “Accused Companies”) all operating in the facility management sector.
The investigation started in order to examine a confidential agreement (the “Agreement”) among the Accused Companies. The ICA alleges that the Agreement was designed to restrict competition through the co-ordination of participations in the tender procedure (the “Tender”) held by Consip (a State owned company) for facility management services of public buildings, universities and state research institutions.
In particular, after having examined the strategies used in the tender procedure of 2014, the ICA found that there would be a lack of competition among the participants in the Tender. Indeed, allegedly the most competitive bids never overlapped. In light of that, and considering the strong corporate links between the Accused Companies, the ICA inferred the anti-competitive coordination.
Therefore, the ICA alleged that the Agreement would amount to an anti-competitive agreement, in contravention of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. However, the alleged wrongdoing has yet to be proven at this stage and the investigation continues.