In 1998 and 2002, two Italian communes entered into service concessions for the supply of management consulting services to pharmacies in their local areas without any form of competitive tender. The European Commission (Commission) considers that, even though there was no obligation to go through a full OJEU tender procedure, there should have been some form of publicity about the contracts to give operators a chance to compete. The Italian Government in its defence argues that the communes could have modified the statutes and rules of the concessionaire to establish an “in house” relationship. The Commission has so far rejected this argument on the basis that the relationship which the communes had with the concessionaire would not in any event have met the “in-house” exception test established by the European Court of Justice case law. It remains to be seen whether the dispute will be taken any further.