On July 30, 2019, the Milan Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) fully upheld a ruling of the Milan Court finding that Società per Azioni Servizi Aeroportuali (“SEA”) and Aeroporti di Roma (“ADR”) had put in place several anticompetitive practices in violation of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU.[1]

In particular, the Court of Appeal found that SEA and ADR hold a dominant position in the market for the management of goods and spaces necessary to provide commercial services in (i) the airports of Milan Malpensa and Linate, and (ii) the airport of Rome Fiumicino, respectively. The Court of Appeal also confirmed that SEA and ADR had abused their dominant position because they had directly entrusted Truestar Group S.p.A. (“Truestar”) with exclusive rights to provide luggage wrapping services in the airports concerned, instead of organizing a competitive tender, even though there was no specific obligation to do so. In addition, the Court of Appeal found that the contracts entered into by SEA and ADR with Truestar were anticompetitive vertical agreements aimed at hindering competition in the market for luggage wrapping, in violation of Article 101 TFEU, taking into account the presence of an exclusivity clause and the duration of the agreements.

However, the Court of Appeal dismissed Safe Bag S.p.A.’s—Truestar’s main competitor’s—claim for damages, on the ground that the plaintiff had not proven, to the required legal standard, that it would have had a reasonably high chance of winning the exclusive rights, had SEA and ADR organized competitive tenders.

[1]              Milan Court of Appeal, Judgment No. 3362 of July 30, 2019.