Ferry companies, formerly part of the Tirrenia Group, operating between mainland Italy and nearby islands, have become the subject of an in-depth state aid inquiry following their privatisation. The European Commission launched an in-depth inquiry on 5 October 2011, following complaints alleging that the companies concerned receive public support which provides them with an unfair competitive advantage.

The Commission proposes to investigate whether the arrangements for public support which the companies benefit from is in line with the EU rules on services of general economic interest and whether any additional support the companies received during privatisation was compliant with the rules on State aid.