Abuse of market dominance allegations to be investigated

The Reuters news agency reports that Italy's antitrust watchdog has opened a probe into gambling operator Sisal SpA, a competitor of Lottomatica SpA, on suspicion of abuse of market dominance in its Superenalotto game.

With a top prize that has climbed to over Euro 100 million, Sisal's Superenalotto game has become a threat to its rival, with one analyst suggesting that it could attract players away from Lottomatica's Lotto game.

The antitrust authority said in a statement that Sisal was suspected of anti-competitive practices in stopping rivals from getting online to seek clients among Superenalotto players.

Sisal responded in a statement that claimed the Internet inflow of bets for the game was being organised according to its concession and in accordance with procedures set out by the regulator. Nevertheless, the company would cooperate fully with the anti-trust authority, providing it with all the documents and information that it required, the statement added.

Online betting in Italy generated Euro 1.8 billion in the first half of the year, according to the AAMS data. Total bets [land and online] in the same period were Euro 26.3 billion.

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