Competition law, green light from the Council of Ministers

Urso: “The bill is part of the framework of the measures and interventions for the implementation of the Pnrr”

Green light from the CDM to the annual competition law bill. “The Council of Ministers – the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy announces on its website – has approved today, on the proposal of Minister Adolfo Urso, the annual bill for the Market and Competition. Thus a virtuous practice is introduced, hitherto without evidence in the recent Italian legislative history: up to now the law had never been approved for two consecutive years. In fifteen years, since 2009, it has only been built twice in 2017 and precisely in 2022. This is the third”.

“The bill is fully part of the framework of the measures and interventions for the implementation of the ‘national recovery and resilience plan’ under two aspects: firstly, the annual approval of a ‘law on competition’ is one of the commitments undertaken within the same Pnrr; secondly, the bill contains a series of rules aimed at ensuring the achievement of some ‘milestones’ set in the framework of the Plan”.

“Among the measures that go in this direction – continues the note -, the one relating to the strengthening and planning of the development of the national electricity grid and the rule focused on promoting the use of ‘smart meters’, for the purpose of promote energy savings and contain the price of electricity”.

“The bill also addresses the issue of parking concessions in public areas for the retail trade. In particular, concessions will be awarded through public tenders, starting immediately from the spaces not yet assigned, safeguarding the legitimate expectation of the current concessionaires who will be able to benefit from a renewal of the current concessions on an exceptional basis for 12 years.The provision brings the discipline back into the framework of the European rules, stating that the parking concessions for the exercise of commerce in public areas are issued for a duration of ten years. In this sense, the following parameters are envisaged: specific social clauses aimed at promoting the employment stability of the personnel employed; enhancement of the size requirements of the micro-enterprise category; a maximum number of concessions of which each operator can be the proprietor, possessor or holder”.

The Competition Law “also envisages the introduction of the ‘cold ironing’ process which allows the shutdown of naval engines while moored in the port, without however cutting off the energy supply, and ensuring better air quality for the inhabited center near the port.Provision is then made to promote greater competition and choice in the pharmaceutical sector, without reducing the quality of the services and products offered to users, also with a view to starting a process of reducing prices applied in the relative markets.Finally, provisions have been introduced for the strengthening and rationalization of the powers of assessment and sanctioning of the Competition and Market Authority (Agcm), at the same time strengthening the guarantees of defense of the subjects involved in the proceedings. The regulatory provision is aimed at attributing to the Authority all the functions referred to in the EU “Digital Markets Act” regulation, relating to the regulation of fair and contestable markets in the digital sector”.