Taxi Naples: the Antitrust sanctions the ban on using other Apps

Taxis in Naples no longer have any ban on using apps for third-party travel reservations. This is what emerges from the Antitrust provision no. 28353, against 3 Taxi Napoli cooperatives. The anti-competitive practice put in place prevented Naples taxi drivers from using digital platforms other than those of the cooperative. Here is what has changed on the use of apps to book a taxi in Naples.

Four Campania Taxi companies ended up in the investigation procedure of the Competition and Market Authority: Consortaxi, Taxi Napoli, Radio Taxi Partenope and Desa Radiotaxi. The investigation aimed to clarify the existence of agreements aimed at prohibiting taxi drivers adhering to their respective radiotaxis from using competing platforms. The investigation began after complaints from two companies entering the sector. In 2018 Desi Taxi reported that three Neapolitan radiotaxi companies (Taxi Napoli, Radio Taxi Partenope and Desa Radiotaxi) would have prevented newly registered taxi drivers from using the digital tool. Only a few months later was added the report by Mytaxi Italia which denounced the same facts with reference also to Consortaxi.


According to what emerged from the Antitrust investigations and reports, the cooperatives have inserted exclusivity clauses in their respective statutes to bind taxi drivers. Furthermore, prohibitions and the obligation to sign commitments were imposed in order not to be suspended from the radio taxi service. Mytaxi Italia reported to the Antitrust Authority that taxi drivers received an eloquent invitation not to use different apps and platforms, even directly on the terminals installed in the cars. "Colleagues are informed that it is not allowed to have other applications that are not inherent to the Radiotaxi as they are not recognized by the current municipal regulation". A practice that has the same contours of the facts objected to the Taxi cooperatives in Milan, Rome and Turin.


The ban on using third apps for booking a taxi in Naples had - according to Mytaxi Italia - an inhibitory effect. The stakes have in fact frozen the number of taxi drivers joining the new platform to book the taxi. Up to counting at the end of 2018 only 1% of active taxi drivers, compared to the total of municipal licenses. The preliminary investigation carried out during 2019 has loosened the mesh of the ban. In different press releases but with the same content, Consortaxi, Taxi Napoli and La 570 have formalized "the distances from the binding agreement" for taxi drivers. An agreement that in the various forums for the radio taxi cooperatives was not intended to restrict access or anti-competitive. It would have been self-protection, according to the Antitrust bulletin no. 39. The radiotaxi companies explain that: "Mytaxi, unlike radiotaxis, would not check the respect of the shifts by the participating taxi drivers (...), exposing them to disciplinary measures of the Municipality of Naples".


Although 3 of the 4 companies reported to the Antitrust have renounced the Agreement, the Authority defined the practice as a "restrictive horizontal agreement" in violation of Article 101 of the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). "Mytaxi belongs to a German group, active in several European countries and the conducts subject to the proceedings were found to be likely to hinder its entry into Italian markets". In consideration of the renunciation of the agreement, and of the Coronavirus emergency, the Antitrust has sanctioned the companies Consortaxi (79,871.40 euros), Taxi Napoli (49,678.57 euros), Radio Taxi to the extent of 15% of the value of the services provided. Partenope (72,733.95 euros) and Desa Radiotaxi (36,663.45 euros).

#antitrust #taxiapp #taxi  Source