Antitrust: investigation launched into the unsolicited provision of a maritime roaming service by Telecom Italia, Wind Tre and Vodafone

11 dicembre 2019

The Italian Consumer and Competition Authority has launched three investigations into allegedly unfair commercial practices by Telecom Italia S.p.A., Wind Tre S.p.A. and Vodafone Italia S.p.A. in their unsolicited provision of  maritime roaming services. The investigation concerns charging costs to the customer’s SIM card for the use of this mobile communication service at sea, without adequately informing them and without the customers having requested this service, whether upon signature of the contract or when using the service onboard.

It is well known that maritime roaming allows passengers on board ferries/ships to use mobile communication services even when there is no terrestrial network coverage. Mobile devices (telephones, tablets, PCs) are enabled through the satellite connection made possible by base stations installed on board ships, as soon as the ship moves away from the coast and disconnects from the terrestrial mobile network. The service is no longer used when the ship approaches the shore and the mobile device reconnects to the terrestrial network.

The alleged breach of the Code therefore consists of an aggressive practice in the form of the unsolicited provision of paid services.

Some maritime passenger transport companies (Grimaldi Group Spa, Grandi Navi Veloci Spa, Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione Spa) are also under investigation for allegedly failing to provide their passengers, customers of these phone carriers, with adequate information on the presence of a maritime roaming service on board their ships.

Today, Authority officials carried out inspections on the premises of the phone carriers concerned, with the assistance of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Italian Finance Police.

 

Retrieved from AGCM

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