Antitrust opens an inquiry on radiotaxi in Naples

The Italian Competition Authority initiated, following the reports received from DigiTaxi S.rl. and Mytaxi Italia Srl, a preliminary investigation procedure for possible restrictive competition (in violation of articles 101 TFEU and 2 of Law 287/90), with regard to the four companies operating the radiotaxi service in Naples, namely Consortaxi, Taxi Napoli Srl, Radio Taxi Partenope Sc at r.l. and Desa Radiotaxi S.r.l. simplified (known on the market as "La570"), to which more than 80% of the taxi drivers operating in Naples belong. In particular, the proceeding concerns a presumed anti-competitive agreement between the four Neapolitan radiotaxis, aimed at hindering the entry of competing platforms - such as DigiTaxi and Mytaxi - in the market for the provision of services for collecting and sorting the taxi service demand in the Municipality of Naples. Specifically, the four radiotaxi operators would have defined and formalized a common strategy consisting in forbidding taxi drivers to use applications other than the one adopted by their radiotaxis. Consequently, the companies would have informed the taxi drivers of the impossibility to use jointly the services of radiotaxis and those of other innovative platforms, requiring them to renounce to use the latter, under penalty of termination of the service contract. The hypothetical agreement appears to be aimed at maintaining the position held by each company on the market and creating a common front to prevent the entry into the market of competitors operating on an "open" platform model. Since the behavior of the four Neapolitan radiotaxi appear suitable to determine the risk of serious and irreparable damage to competition, the Authority has simultaneously initiated a precautionary procedure to assess the existence of the conditions for the adoption of a provisional measure, aimed at prevent the conduct attributable to the aforementioned companies from continuing. On 19 February 2019, the Officials of the Italian Competition Authority, with the help of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza), carried out the inspections at the premises of the companies involved, parties to the proceedings, held in possession of elements useful for the purpose of assessment. Source: http: //