On 23 June 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) opened an in-depth investigation into Busitalia Veneto S.p.A., APS Holding S.p.A. and Busitalia Sita Nord S.r.l (the “Accused Companies”), three Italian companies providing services in the public transport sector.
The ICA with the assistance of the Italian Financial Police allege that the conduct of the Accused Companies amounts 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 stated that the Accused Companies, which enjoy a dominant market position, delayed the forwarding of data and information needed by the competent Governmental Authority (“Ente di Governo del Bacino di Trasporto Pubblico Locale di Padova”) to make public calls for tenders; the same services carried out by the Accused Companies.
Further, the ICA decided to issue an interim measure, ordering the Accused Companies to immediately provide the mentioned data and information to the competent Authority in order to permit the Authority to assign the services by tenders in the meantime.
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 it would adversely affect trade within the EU.