Antitrust: Green Style and the financing companies Fiditalia S.p.A. and Santander Consumer Bank S.p.A fined for unfair commercial practices in the sale of photovoltaic systems

04 october 2019

After completing an investigation to assess alleged unfair commercial practices in the sale of photovoltaic systems, the Italian Competition Authority fined Green Style Energie Rinnovabili S.r.l. Euro 480.000 and the financing companies Fiditalia S.p.A. and Santander Consumer Bank S.p.A. Euro 117.000 thousand and Euro 135.000, respectively.

In particular, the Authority found that Green Style Energie Rinnovabili adopted unfair commercial practices vis-à-vis consumers, with reference to:

  • the misleading presentation methods used by its sales agents, who used the trademarks of well-known operators in the energy industry in order to attract customers;
  • inducing customers to sign contracts for the purchase and the financing of photovoltaic systems, through the misleading description of their economic benefits, price and payment systems as well as by concealing the actual nature of the contractual obligations arising from the signing of unclear forms;
  • the omission of mandatory information regarding the procedures and time frames to exercise the right of withdrawal.

The Authority also found Fiditalia S.p.A. and Santander Consumer Bank S.p.A. responsible for unfair commercial practices as they did not take sufficient measures to control whether consumers actually requested the financing and, therefore, whether their consent was genuinely obtained, thereby contributing to the activation of the unsolicited financing contracts.

During the proceedings, the Authority was supported by the Special Antitrust Unit of the Italian Finance Police.

Rome, 30 September 2019

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