Lear has assisted Apple Inc. in a proceeding started by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) on a vertical agreement with the Amazon group that had allegedly reduced intra-brand price competition on the Amazon.it marketplace. Lear prepared an economic brief highlighting the shortcomings of the ICA’s analysis, the efficiencies of the agreement, and showing that a vertical restrain can still be welfare enhancing when considering the effects of the agreement on inter-brand competition.
In 2018 the Italian Competition Authority held an investigation to assess whether the non-compete agreements between three traditional radio taxi cooperatives and affiliated taxi drivers in the geographic market of the city of Rome might potentially harm entry and competition by alternative cab dispatching open platforms. Lear assisted one of the incumbent radio taxi cooperatives showing that the non-compete clauses did not limit competition for taxi drivers’ affiliation by the new entrant in the market of the city of Rome, and that such clauses are necessary for the cooperative’s business model to survive. Even though the Italian Competition Authority concluded that the non-compete clauses breached Art. 101 TFEU, the Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR) in 2019 overturned its decision.
Lear assisted a consumers’ association in: (i) identifying relevant markets in the fast food sector; (ii) assessing available evidence of a resale price maintenance strategy by a major American fast food chain. Lear developed both qualitative and quantitative analyses, including diversion ratios analysis and price concentration analysis.
Paolo participated as an expert in the OECD Competition Committee’s Roundtable on “Vertical restraints for on-line sales”. Paolo was asked to prepare a background note that covers all aspect of the economic assessment of vertical restraints when these concern the distribution of products or services over the Internet. The Roundtable will also discussed the case law on this subject matter, including the very recent ruling on the Pierre Fabre case by the Paris Court of Appeal. The discussion are summarised a report by the OECD : “Vertical Restraints for On-line Sales”.
PUBLICATION: Vertical restraints for on-line sales
Lear assisted a major beer producer in the Italian market in its self-assessment of compliance to competition rules. Lear was asked to define the relevant antitrust markets and assess the existence of a dominant position. Lear’s economists, closely following the European Commission guidelines on the identification of the relevant market and the enforcement of art. 102 TFEU, collected and analyzed both qualitative and quantitative data in order to identify the relevant market and assess the existence of a dominant position.