Italy’s antitrust authority opens investigations into nine Serie A clubs over ticket sales

AC Milan fans during Serie A match between Parma Calcio and AC Milan (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

The Italian antitrust authority, l’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), has opened investigations into nine Serie A football clubs over unfair, or “vexatious”, contract terms in the sale of season tickets and individual match tickets.

The clubs are: AC Milan, Atalanta, Cagliari, Genoa, Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Roma and Udinese.

The investigation relates to clauses which limit the rights of ticket-holders to a refund in the case of stadiums being closed or matches being postponed and purport to exempt clubs from paying damages in cases where the postponement of a match has been the direct responsibility of the club.

The authority dropped its investigations into two other clubs, Bologna and Parma, after the two clubs agreed to modify some of their terms.

The authority opened the investigations after the nine clubs failed to respond to its request on May 8, 2019, to remove or modify the identified clauses.

The matter does not fall under competition law and there is no suggestion that the clubs have acted in consort. AGCM is investigating because it has jurisdiction in matters concerning consumer rights. The alleged infringements represent breaches of articles 33, 34 and 35 of the country’s Consumer Code.