On October 8, 2019, the ICA found that the Italian Federation of Equestrian Sports (“FISE”) had (i) breached the commitments it offered in 2011, and (ii) abused its dominant position in the market for the organization of events and horse races having a professional, amateur or recreational nature, with a view to restricting the activities of amateur operators (or sports promotion bodies).[1]

The commitments accepted by the ICA in 2011, in the context of a previous investigation, were aimed at preventing FISE from limiting the performance of equestrian activities and events by abusing its regulatory powers.[2] According to the ICA, FISE breached the commitments by unlawfully using its regulatory powers to restrict the activities of amateur operators, inter alia by introducing restrictive regulations and sending letters of formal notice to operators active in the relevant market that did not comply with them. In addition, the ICA found that the contested conduct also amounted to an exclusionary abuse, in that it prevented third parties from having access to the market for the organization of equestrian events.

In light of the foregoing, the ICA fined FISE €451,090.82 overall for the two violations. The amount of the fine was determined on the basis of the criteria provided for by Article 8 of Law No. 689 of November 24, 1981, concerning the violation of different provisions through the same conduct.

[1]              ICA decision of October 8, 2019 No. 27947, Case A378E Federitalia/Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri (FISE).

[2]              ICA decision of June 8, 2011, No. 22503, Case A378C, Federitalia/Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri (FISE).