An Italian administrative court holds a transfer of retail trade licences as concentration and fines an operator in grocery sector for breaching the pre-merger notification obligation (Lidl Italia)

Introduction The Italian regional administrative court of Lazio (TAR) has upheld a decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) that had categorized transfers of retail trade licences as concentrations [1]. The TAR approved the condemnation of Lidl Italia (LI) for failing to notify the acquisition of licences, but reduced the amount of the fine imposed by the ICA. The facts of the case and the ICA decision LI intended to expand its grocery activities in the Italian retail market. To this end, because Italian law prohibited the mere transfer of retail trade licenses, LI purchased from small retailers a set of business assets, which comprehends a retail trade licence and some assets of small or no value. The ICA qualified the above transactions as concentrations; then, it

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Michele Giannino, An Italian administrative court holds a transfer of retail trade licences as concentration and fines an operator in grocery sector for breaching the pre-merger notification obligation (Lidl Italia), 9 January 2008, e-Competitions January 2008, Art. N° 19848

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