Grimaldi filed a complaint against FAI for anti-competitive conduct related to the strike in Salerno
According to the Neapolitan shipping company, the 5-days lock-out called by the Italian road haulage union favours Tirrenia's Naples-Catania line
As expected, a new confrontation arose in the struggle between Grimaldi and Moby groups over the routes connecting Campania and Sicily.
A few days before the 5-days strike (from May the 21st to the 25th) called by the Italian road haulage federation Fai Conftrasporto to protest against the road network congestion around the port of Salerno following the opening of a new Grimaldi line to Catania, the shipping group replied with a complaint filed with Antitrust authorities, Ministry of Transports, Central Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authority and Campania region against Fai and Conftrasporto president (as well as member of the Board of Directors of Moby's subsidiary Tirrenia) Fabrizio Palenzona.
Grimaldi Euromed Spa denounced the “distortive effects on the market resulting from the anticipated strike, which appears to be clearly referable to an anti-competitive scheme imputable to Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (Tirrenia, ed.)”.
“The Italian Road Haulage Federation (Fai), headed by Fabrizio Palenzona (member of CIN's Board of Directors), recently called a 5-days strike (actually a proper lock-out) starting on May the 21st at the port of Salerno with the pretext of the port's traffic congestion. Said initiative was taken exactly when CIN launched its two new lines Naples-Catania and Naples-Malta, the first one being in direct competition with Grimaldi's Salerno-Catania line”, Grimaldi explained. Moreover, CIN operates two connections to Palermo and Cagliari, which are in direct competition with Grimaldi's Salerno-Palermo and Salerno-Cagliari lines.
Grimaldi argues “it is obvious that, though formally taken by the Italian Road Haulage Federation, the initiative is ascribable to CIN (whose Board includes the Italian Road Haulage Federation's president) and it is also an illegitimate instrument to achieve multiple competitive effects”. They added that “the initiative’s specious nature is proved by the fact that the Italian Road Haulage Federation doesn’t include a significant representation of operators working in the port of Salerno”.
The complaint also referred to the Antitrust Authorities' recent judgement against Vincenzo Onorato's subsidiaries (Moby and Tirrenia) as, according to Grimaldi, “the presence of the line to Cagliari among the connections affected by the initiative allows to identify CIN's (Tirrenia, ed.) behaviour as a further example of abuse of dominant position perpetrated after the renowned facts already subjected to the Italian Competition Authorities' sanctions with its resolution dated February the 28th 2018. Therefore, said behaviour represents a clear breach of the warning pursuant to letter b) of the resolution's purview”.
The Italian Competition Authorities will have to deal again with the struggle that in the past two years has been going on in the Tyrrhenian Sea among the Grimaldi and Moby.