INTERNATIONAL: ITALY - CONSUMER LAW / COMPETITION LAW - AIMS - CONSUMER WELFARE - APPROACH - MARKET STRUCTURE CONTROL - EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE - ITALIAN COMPETITION AUTHORITY - TELECOMS - BANKING - RAIL - SERVICES - EFFECTIVENESS

Competition and unfair commercial practices: The Italian experience

Although consumer law and competition law pursue a similar aim, consumer welfare, it is rather easy to pinpoint the differences in methodology, criteria and approach between the two: the former addresses failures from the demand side by means of a direct control on individual transactions; the latter addresses failures on the supply side and ensures that the marketplace remains competitive by operating at the level of market structure control. Empirical evidence, drawn from the experience of the Italian Competition Authority in the field of telecoms, banking and rail services, shows that, in practice, the relationship between consumer and competition law is rather complex and that one tool can be used to enhance the effectiveness of the other. Good reasons also militate to entrust the enforcement of the two sets of rules to the same authority or at least to ensure smooth channels of communication between the two public enforcers.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. I. The theoretical perspective 1. From a theoretical point of view, there is a profound difference between consumer law and competition [1]law. Consumer law is concerned with the failures that affect the subjective ability of consumers to choose between the different options offered by the market, that is to say, the barriers that prevent consumers from making an informed choice between these different options. The aim of consumer law is therefore to ensure that the consumer's critical capacity remains intact and to penalise anything that restricts it, such as the use of unfair terms [2], misleading or aggressive selling techniques and, more generally,

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  • European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)

Quotation

Paolisa Nebbia, Competition and unfair commercial practices: The Italian experience, December 2009, Concurrences N° 4-2009, Art. N° 28989, pp. 213-218

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