June 16, 2020 / 7:47 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Italian antitrust agency probing Atlantia unit over road fees

(Adds Autostrade per l’Italia comment)

MILAN, June 16 (Reuters) - Italy’s antitrust watchdog has opened an investigation into Atlantia’s motorway unit to verify whether the company had properly communicated to customers that they could be reimbursed in case of poor service on the network it manages.

In a statement, the antitrust body said on Tuesday it was investigating reasons why Atlantia’s motorway unit Autostrade per l’Italia had not lowered tolls on the A16 section of the network, which links Naples with the town of Canosa in southern Italy and where traffic restrictions were causing tailbacks.

The watchdog said it was also looking into whether Autostrade had made clear to motorists travelling anywhere on its network about the possibility of getting road tolls reimbursed in case of traffic restrictions causing poor service.

Autostrade replied that it was not obliged to offer such reimbursements but that it had decided to compensate those travelling on the A14 motorway and not the A16, where traffic problems were deemed less severe.

“Autostrade is confident it will prove to the antitrust (agency) that its actions are absolutely correct and aimed at benefiting those users who are most affected by serious network congestion,” the company said in a statement. (Reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by Agnieszka Flak and Mark Heinrich)

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