Iren Mercato Secures Victory Against ICA

July 7, 2023

Cleary Gottlieb represented Iren Mercato S.p.A. (Iren Mercato) in its victory against the Italian Competition Authority (ICA).

In upholding the appeal submitted by Iren Mercato the Lazio Regional Administrative Court annulled the interim measure decision by which the ICA had ordered the company to suspend the application of every change to the economic conditions of electricity and natural gas supply contracts.

The court rejected the ICA’s interpretation of the special ban on ius variandi (right to change) introduced by the Italian Aid-bis decree. Confirming Iren Mercato’s defenses, the court held that that special ban only concerns unilateral changes to the contract and not also updates of expired economic conditions: the latter are expressly provided for and regulated by the terms and conditions governing the electricity and gas supply contracts and do not entail any changes to such terms and conditions. Therefore, the court held that, contrary to the ICA’s allegations, the updates of expired prices communicated to consumers by Iren Mercato were fully lawful.