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The Italian Court of Appeal has annulled the ICA decision that banned exclusivity clauses for radio taxis

May 9, 2019

The Italian Court of Appeal has annulled in full the ICA decision that banned exclusivity clauses for radio taxis.  Dr Barbara Veronese provided economic expert advice to two radio-taxis in Milan and one in Rome during the ICA proceedings, cooperating with the outside counsel team of Pavia Ansaldo led by Filippo Fioretti. She also assisted with economic input the legal team in the appeals submitted for the Milan cooperatives.

The ICA case started from the allegation of Mytaxi that the radio taxi companies and cooperatives' exclusivity clauses in Milan and Rome had foreclosed Mytaxi and that such clauses harming competition.

The ICA had opened proceedings arguing that this was a grave violation of competition law and rejected the commitments offered on grounds of gravity.

In the ICA case final decision, eventually zero fines were imposed and gravity dropped. However, the ICA concluded that  exclusivity was harming competition and all exclusivity clauses were unlawful. This remarkable conclusion was reached even if the Italian civil code stipulates that cooperative members are to be bound by exclusivity.

In the judgment the Court of Appeal has ruled that the ICA was wrong on this fundamental conclusion. It also deemed the market definition was incorrect and that the ICA had ventured into regulation rather than focusing on pure public enforcement of a well-defined competition law issue.