The Italian Regional Administrative Court of Lazio rules that completed mergers cannot be considered part of an abuse of dominance strategy (TicketOne)

A Completed Merger Cannot Be Considered as Part of an Abusive Strategy in the Framework of a Later Article 102 Decision* The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, Italy (the “TAR Lazio”), annulled a decision by which in 2020 the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) had imposed a fine on CTS Eventim-TicketOne Group (“TicketOne”) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the Italian market for the sale of tickets for pop and rock music concerts. [1] Background In 2001 TicketOne notified the ICA with two agreements it had entered into with some of the leading organizers of live music events (the “Panischi Agreements”), requesting confirmation that they fulfilled the requirements for exemption from the ban on anticompetitive practices. The Panischi Agreements, whose term was 15

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