THE ANTITRUST SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SKY ITALIA AND DAZN
With a notice of August 28, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) announces to have started – upon notice of individual consumers – an investigation against Sky Italia S.r.l., Perform Investment Limited and Perform Media Services S.r.l. (the latter better known to the public as „DAZN“) with reference to the marketing of football game packages (Serie A and B) for the 2018/2019 season.
Different infringements may be abstractly claimed against the broadcasters.
As for Sky, according to the AGCM the leading company in the transmission in Italy of sport events would have not adequately informed its public about the delivery methods and the limits of the offer of the football package for the 2018/2019 season, so as to bring new customers to take an unconscious business decision. Moreover, the conduct held by Sky could also be seen as “aggressive” towards the existing subscribers, since – in the face of, among others, a considerable downsizing of the number of the broadcasted games – Sky would have induced the customer to renew his subscription in the erroneous belief that the football offer had not changed. This conduct could infringe art. 65 of the Consumer Code.
As for DAZN, on the one hand the claim „whenever you want, however you want“ is contested as it would be able to induce the consumer believe that he can use the service wherever he is, without specifying the technical and/or territorial limitations that could prevent the use of the service or make it more difficult; on the other hand, the message that the user could benefit the service, from the first month, “for free” and “with no contract” is deemed misleading. In fact, the consumer is still required to sign a contract (although free for the first month), with the consequent need to formally exercise the right of withdrawal in order not to renew the service and to avoid the charge of subsequent monthly payments. According to the Antitrust, such conducts could be both “deceptive” and “aggressive”, in violation of articles. 21, 24 and 25 of the Consumer Code.