• Register
Return to: Home > News > Big Four > Italian antitrust authority fines Big Four total of $26.6m for restrictive competition

Italian antitrust authority fines Big Four total of $26.6m for restrictive competition

Italy’s antitrust authority has sanctioned the Big Four for €23.7m ($26.6m) altogether, following a violation of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits agreements that could disrupt free competition in the European Economic Area's internal market.

EY Italy and KPMG Italy face the heftiest fines, €8.6m and €7.7m respectively. Deloitte Italy was fined €5.9m and PwC Italy was fined €1.5m.

The Authority found that there has been a restrictive agreement on competition by which the Big Four compromised the outcome of a €66m public tender launched by joint-stock company CONSIP, whose sole shareholder is Italy’s ministry of economy and finance.

Three of the Big Four won most of the available contracts in the bidding process for the provision of assistance and technical support services to public administrations; however Italy’s antitrust authority established that each network presented suspicious discounts which never applied to the same contract and accused the networks of colluding to share and win the contracts.

Italy’s antitrust authority therefore fined the Big Four, but could not nullify the outcome of the tender, which ended in 2016.

PwC Italy told this magazine: “We are disappointed with the outcome of the competition enquiry and believe the legal case against PwC is insufficient. As we made clear in our submission, PwC did not benefit in any way from the awarding of the contracts in question, none of which were awarded to PwC. We continue to be committed to the highest standards of ethical behaviour. Each year all of our people are required to undergo training on the importance of integrity and professional ethics in everything we do.”

KPMG Italy declined to comment, while EY Italy and Deloitte Italy had not responded to our enquiry at the time of publication.

Top Content

    Nigeria: building compliance and engagement

    Opportunities created by regulatory and legislative changes in Nigeria are tempered by the fragile state of the economy, although practitioners are generally confident that conditions will improve over the next few years if appropriate steps are taken. Paul Golden reports.

    read more

    Ghana: a quest for consistency

    Ghana’s current economic profile would suggest a fertile landscape for purveyors of accounting services. But inconsistent approaches to compliance and application of standards – coupled with problems in the banking sector and consequent liquidity constraints – have created a challenging environment. Paul Golden writes.

    read more

    Drone technology: audit takes to the skies

    The movement towards a digitised era has already impacted the auditing profession in a number of ways, from blockchain to artificial intelligence. Now firms are taking to sky and using drone technology in their audits. Mishelle Thurai speaks to Big Four firms to find out more.

    read more

    SBC: a new alliance joins the market

    Jonathan Minter speaks to Paul Tutin, chair of founding firm Streets Chartered Accountants, about why the business and its European partners took the decision to launch their own association.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.