On November 11, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) slapped eight modeling agencies (Brave Models, D’management Group, Elite Model Management, Enjoy, Major Model Management, Next Italy, Why Not, and Women Models) and their trade association, Associazione Servizi Moda (“ASSEM”) with a € 4.5 million fine for allegedly colluding to fix prices. According to ICA, the modeling agencies agreed on the applicable prices on the market with the aim of avoiding any form of competition.
The ICA alleges that the price collusion concerned all the components of the prices applied to the major fashion brands and other clients – including but not limited to fees for models, wages for the modelling agencies and other additional costs. The clients at issue likely included top Italian design houses, such as Prada, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Valentino, Versace, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Brioni. Furthermore, the agencies are said to have worked close with ASSEM to develop the alleged price-fixing scheme.
In calculating the ICA took into account that the widespread nature and longstanding duration of the alleged conduct, which took place between 2007 and 2015. The ICA further stated that it granted full immunity to IMG Italy in exchange for revealing the existence of the alleged conduct.