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The Italian Competition Authority, on 18 April 2018, fined Vodafone Italia S.p.A a total amount of EUR 4.6 million euros for unfair commercial practices.

In the advertising campaigns for the Fibre Optics connectivity commercial offer (website, below the line advertising and TV commercials), Vodafone used claims that emphasized the exclusive use of the fibre optics and/or the achievement of maximum performance in terms of speed and reliability of the connection, yet failed to adequately inform consumers about the real characteristics and resulting limitations of the service offered, the geographical limits of coverage of the various network solutions, the differences in available services and performances depending on the infrastructure used to offer the fibre connection.

Moreover, in the commercial claims concerning the fibre connectivity, there was no adequate information indicating the fact that the maximum connection speeds could be obtained only by activating an additional option free of charge for a limited period, and subsequently, for a fee.

As a consequence of this omissive and misleading conduct, the consumer, due to the use of the generic term "fibre", is unable to identify the elements that specifically characterize the offer.  The absence of clear information on these characteristics prevents the consumer, therefore, from making an informed decision on the purchase of the fibre offer.

The misleading and omissive conduct is of particular significance, considering the importance of the economic sector concerned, which is characterized by consumption patterns and user needs that are in continuous and radical evolution, in the face of an increasing supply of digital services.

Rome, 27 April 2018