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Alleged cartel in the Italian market for third-party liability insurance services – ongoing

Lear has been appointed by one of the largest insurance companies active in Italy and worldwide to rebut the accusations by the Italian Competition Authority, which has started a preceding to ascertain the potential anticompetitive effects of an information exchange among a number of price comparison websites and other insurance companies active in the provision of third-party liability insurance services in Italy. According to the ICA, such information could have been useful for the insurance companies to align their business strategies and hence reduce discounts provided to customers, which eventually led to higher prices. Lear’s strategy aims at proving that the exchange of information was not apt to lead to anticompetitive effects, mostly because of (i) the limited scope of the exchange, (ii) the fact that the exchange does not increase market transparency, and (iii) the fact that exchanged information could not be used to estimate prices charged by other companies.