The Antitrust Authority in Italy, ACMA, has launched three preliminary proceedings against Telecom Italia SpA, Wind Tre SpA and Vodafone Italia SpA, concerning alleged improper commercial practices for the unsolicited supply of the maritime roaming service.
The preliminary hypothesis concerns the debiting, on the SIM of the customers, of the costs for the use of this mobile communication service on board ships without adequate information and without the request by the customers of such supply, both during the signing of the contract that during the use of the service on the ship.
It is known that the maritime roaming service allows passengers traveling on ferries / ships to use mobile communication services even without coverage of the terrestrial network. Mobile devices (telephones, tablets, PCs) are enabled, through the satellite connection made possible by base stations installed on board ships, as soon as the ship leaves the coast and disengages from the mobile land network. The use of the service ceases when the ship approaches the coast when the mobile device hangs up on the terrestrial network.
The hypothesis of violation of the Code consists, therefore, in an aggressive practice for the supply of unsolicited paid services.
There is also a hypothesis of information omission on the part of some shipping companies (Grimaldi Group Spa, Grandi Navi Veloci Spa, Italian Navigation Company Spa), which failed to provide adequate information to its passengers, customers of the aforementioned telephone operators on the existence of maritime roaming on board their ships.
Today, the Authority’s officials carried out inspections in the offices of the telephone companies involved, with the help of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Guardia di Finanza.