Unipol Group Obtains Closure of Antitrust Proceedings Without Finding of Infringement

August 28, 2017

Cleary Gottlieb gained, on behalf of Unipol Group, dismissal by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) of a formal investigation opened in 2016 into an alleged anticompetitive agreement in the Italian market for car insurance premiums and related guarantees between Unipol Group and its main competitors, namely Generali, Allianz, AXA and Cattolica groups.

The ICA launched its investigation following some public statements regarding price increases made by Unipol and Generali managers to the press in November 2016. The ICA took the preliminary view that these statements qualified as “price signaling” and were the result of unlawful coordination among the parties.

However, in its final decision, published on August 28, 2017, the ICA said that Unipol Group and the other parties demonstrated the absence of a collusive scheme. It also confirmed that the parties had autonomously decided to increase car insurance premiums due to a market situation characterized by the “progressive reduction of margins,” “higher frequency of car accidents” and the deterioration of other technical parameters.

The Italian Competition Authority decided to drop all charges against the parties.

Unipol Group is Italy’s largest insurance company in the non-life insurance sector.