Babcock, the aerospace and defence company, has been informed that its subsidiary Babcock Mission Critical Services Italia S.p.A (“BMCS Italy”) was unsuccessful in its first instance appeal against a decision by the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) to impose a fine in respect of a publicly -available “tariff list” dating back to 2001. BMCS Italy is now considering its position in respect of a further appeal.
The ICA fined BMCS Italy a total of €51 million, and also imposed fines on seven other companies, in respect of this publicly available tariff list produced by a trade association of which BMCS Italy was a member.
BMCS Italy does not understand the basis of this decision, given that the tariff list did not apply to any of the services provided by BMCS Italy and was not relevant to BMCS Italy’s activities. In particular, BMCS Italy is convinced that the tariff list never related to the helicopter emergency medical services (“HEMS”) and, indeed, this lack of relevance was explicitly stated on the front of the list from 2012, two years prior to the acquisition of BMCS Italy by Babcock in 2014.
The ICA had confirmed that, whilst it had also investigated the possibility of bid rigging arrangements relating to HEMS, no basis was found for such allegations against BMCS Italy or any other party.
BMCS Italy considers compliance with antitrust laws to be of the highest priority. BMCS Italy also notes that the ICA reduced the fine imposed upon BMCS Italy to reflect the quality and robustness of its antitrust compliance programme. BMCS will continue to service its existing contracts and to compete for future tendering opportunities.
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