On 24 November 2020, the Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR) annulled the €678m sanctions against car manufacturers that were imposed by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA). The ICA had found that an exchange of information between “captive banks” affiliated with car manufacturers in Italy had restricted competition by coordinating their conduct on the market. The TAR reversed the ICA’s decision on both procedural and substantive grounds. In particular, the TAR rejected the ICA’s market definition and did not find sufficient evidence of anticompetitive coordination among the car manufacturers.
A team consisting of Valter Sorana and Patrick Andreoli-Versbach provided economic advice and support to General Motors. CRA’s analysis centred around discussing the evidence that captive banks and independent banks directly compete against each other and highlighted that the conditions under which an information exchange is detrimental for consumers were not met. The analysis also showed that the market data, including shares, were not in line with companies achieving a coordinated market outcome.
Further information is available in TAR’s decision, here.