Italy: Taking action
After several years of huge debate and many failed attempts, on 24 December last year the Italian Parliament passed a law that introduces class actions to the Italian legal system. The new law will come into force on 28 June, 2008, and consumers' associations and other entities are already preparing their actions. A visit to the websites of the major Italian consumers' associations gives an idea of what could happen in the very near future: at the end of March 2008 something like 20 class actions were threatened by and against the most diverse entities. Some of them belong to traditional topics for class actions such as product liability, false advertising, or unfair commercial practices - in this last category threats of class actions are reported against telephone companies for high-cost pay-numbers; against banks for unfair commercial conditions in mortgage loans; against a pay TV company for the introduction of a payment service that was formerly free.
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