Annual Market and Competition Law

Some novelties on the simplification of administrative regimes for companies.

The Annual Market and Competition Law 2021 (No. 118/2022) entered into force on 27 August. In addition to being enacted in compliance with Article 117, paragraph II, letter e) of the Constitution, it is among the objectives included in the NRP, which considers the protection and promotion of competition as essential factors for fostering efficiency and economic growth, removing regulatory obstacles of a regulatory or administrative nature, and ensuring consumer protection.

There are several regulatory interventions, including the extension of powers in the field of antitrust activities, in particular regarding the investigative capacities of the AGCM , the fight against the abuse of economic dependence with reference to the digital sector , the settlement instrument (so-called settlement ) for the closure of investigative proceedings concerning restrictive practices and abuse of dominant position. In addition to these, the Act also contains several provisions aimed at simplifying the administrative activities of individual companies.

In this regard, Article 26 delegates the Government to adopt legislative decrees (within 24 months) in order to identify new administrative regimes for private activities and to simplify and digitally re-engineer the related administrative procedures. The objective appears to be to identify and typify private activities subject to different regimes to eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens in compliance with the principles of EU law on access to service activities and in such a way as to reduce the administrative burden on businesses. For the implementation of this simplification activity, the regulatory provision identifies a number of criteria and guiding principles, including the possibility of delegating a natural person or a self-employed professional to take care of the fulfilments with the public administration, as well as reducing the time of the authorization procedures for the start-up of the business activity.

Article 29 provides for the regulation of the single communication for the creation of a company , reducing from seven to four days the deadline within which the competent administrations are to communicate, electronically, to the interested party and to the business registry office the further definitive data relating to the registered positions.

Dr. Jacopo Maria Orsi

Consult the vocabulary

1 The AGCM may at any time request undertakings and entities in its possession to provide information and to produce useful documents (also outside investigation proceedings). Such requests must indicate the legal grounds on which they are based, must be proportionate and shall not oblige the addressees to admit to an infringement (Article 35 of Law No. 118/2022).

2 In order to avoid abuses of economic dependence in the sector, a relative presumption of economic dependence is introduced in the event that a business uses the intermediation services provided by a digital platform that plays a decisive role in reaching end users or suppliers, including in terms of network effects or data availability (Article 33 of Law No. 118/2022).

3 An instrument that allows companies subject to cartel and abuse of dominance investigations to close the proceedings with a settlement, obtaining a reduction of the fine in exchange for an acknowledgement of participation in the infringement. The Authority may decide at any time to discontinue settlement discussions altogether if it considers that their effectiveness is in any case compromised. (Art. 34 L. No. 18/2022).

4 Single communication is an IT practice that simplifies the relationship between businesses and the P.A. By turning to a single telematic pole (the Company Registry) with a single procedure, the interested party can fulfil its obligations vis-à-vis the Chambers of Commerce, the Revenue Agency, INAIL and INPS.