FIGC fined 4 million euros for abuse of dominant position in youth matches

The Competition and Market Authority has fined the Italian Football Federation totaling more than 4 million euros. The Authority communicates this in a note adding that it has noted that “the FIGC, at least from July 1, 2015, has implemented a complex exclusion strategy to strengthen its dominant position in the organization of competitive competitions youth football and to also extend it to the amateur recreational activities market, in which it operates in competition with Sports Promotion Organizations (EPS)”.

The abusive strategy was carried out above all by the inability of the FIGC to stipulate the agreements required by the CONI EPS regulation (2014) for the exercise of competitive activity. This allowed the Federation to prevent EPS from entering the market for organizing competitive events, thereby securing a substantial monopoly position.

Second, the FIGC used its regulatory power instrumentally, by illegally considering amateur activity carried out by sport promotion bodies among athletes aged 12 to 17 as competitive. In addition, it also imposed an agreement between the Federation and the EPS and the pre-authorization of the event for athletes up to 12 years old (by definition not included in the competitive activity), thus limiting the freedom of amateur sports associations affiliated with the FIGC and their athletes with dual membership to participate in tournaments organized by the EPS. In this way, the ability of sports promotion bodies to exert sufficient competitive pressure on the Federation has been reduced, hindering and/or weakening competition in the market for organizing amateur recreational events.

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