Read also Farewell competition, the Tar saves radio taxis: they can continue to hinder opponents
In essence, the Council of State accepted the Antitrust interpretation according to which the cooperatives had closed their members, through non-competition agreements and exclusive clauses, the use of “open” digital applications developed by independent third parties, such as, for example, FREE NOW (at the time of the facts it was called MyTaxi, editor’s note). “We are very satisfied with the sentence,” he comments Ottavia Marotta, public affairs manager of the company who then adds: “Finally, the entrepreneurial freedom of taxi drivers wins, recognizing the undoubted benefits of the coexistence between traditional systems and innovative technological systems for procuring taxi rides. Our service is complementary to that of the Radiotaxi because it increases the potential customers of taxi drivers who are now free to choose how many and which operators to work with “.
Taxi drivers instead they are divided between those who feel free to be able to choose the most convenient operator and who, instead, speaks of “political judgment”Assuming that Free Now could bring the street cars to their knees. A reading that Marotta does not share: “We have 40 million active users in 17 countries of the world, the advantage of the app with foreign customers is evident”. Not least because it overcomes language and even payment problems.
In the three sentences published last week, the Council of State therefore completely disavowed the Tar of Lazio which – instead – had detected several errors in the investigation of the Agcm claiming that the Authority had somehow confused the concept of competition. For the Tar, in fact, the vertical agreements had not precluded the entry or growth of MyTaxi in the market, but rather the achievement of the objectives that the company had set itself. Translated: The fact that the app has failed to recruit enough taxi drivers to meet customer demand is not a threat to competition.
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Excerpted reading on appeal also because the link between street cars and radio taxis is indissoluble: buying a license without the approval of cooperatives is almost impossible. Self on the one hand the jurisprudence has consolidated the defense of the sale, banks continue to look at this market with great suspicion, considering it too volatile an asset (theoretically municipalities could revoke licenses at any time). And for this reason, large credit institutions do not finance their purchase, unless potential buyers are able to provide real guarantees, such as that of a property. At this point, the cooperatives that guarantee their future associates come into play.
A positive sum operation for the same Radiotaxi cooperatives that in this way they increase their mass with the aim of preventing – or at least curbing – entry into the market of potential rivals such as the landing in Italy of MyTaxi. With the game destined to move on the quality of the service and on the cost: the subscription to the radio taxi costs 200 euros per month regardless of how much a car works, Free Now withholds 10% of each ride.