Italian Competition Authority
The Italian Competition Authority (Italian: Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, AGCM) is an Italian quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization established on the basis of Law no 287 of 10 October 1990, 100 years after the Sherman Antitrust Act. As of 2004, the Italian Competition Authority has also been in charge of enforcing laws against conflicts of interest for Holders of Public Office.
As the Italian competition regulator, the Authority has the task of enforcing both Italian and European consumer protection laws.
It is financed by annual allocations through a special chapter of the Ministry of Economic Development's budget. The Financial Law of 2006 introduced partial self-financing: AGCM has full control over the management of these funds for its own operations.
An annual report is presented to the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy.
The main duties of the authority are:
- Vigilance against abuses from market dominance.
- Vigilance against cartels that may prejudice or restrict fair competition (Anti-competitive practices).
- Vigilance on takeovers to check concentration ratio and verify market impact.
- Consumer protection, against unfair trade practices and false advertising.
- Supervise and penalize the cases of conflict of interest regarding members of Government of Italy.
The Authority in such cases may conduct investigations or hearings, even with the Guardia di Finanza at his disposal, which may result in a warning or an administrative penalty.
- Law no. 287 of October 10th, 1990 (The Competition and Fair Trading Act) Archived December 10, 2000, at the Wayback Machine.
- Article 10(7-bis) of Law 287/90 as amended by article 1(69) of Law no. 266 of 2005.
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