Resale price maintenance in Italy: AGCM opens an investigation against manufacturer

For the first time since the 2003 modernisation, the Italian Antitrust Authority puts under scrutiny vertical restraints. Straightforward RPM is investigated, following anonymous complaint. Possible horizontal effects are included in the scope of the investigation.

On 22 October 2013, the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) launched an investigation into the direct imposition of vertical prices imposed by Power-One Italy, a manufacturer of inverters used to change direct current to alternating current produced by photovoltaic and wind power plants. It is the first vertical agreement investigated by the IAA since the modernisation of the antitrust regime in 2003.

The investigation originated from an anonymous complaint received by the IAA consisting of a letter on ‘mininum reselling prices’, whereby the vice-president of Power-One Italy reminded the distributors, resellers and partners that starting from January 2012 it would introduce ’a minimum reselling price in all our price lists’…

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