The hearing was held on the 21st of March; the sentence was published on the 5th of April: the II Section of the TAR, the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio has upheld the appeal of Yesmoke.
The Italian cigarette market has been definitively liberalized with the cancellation of D.L. 94, the so-called “Tassa Minima.” This “Minimum Tax” had been contrived to get around the ruling of the European Court of Justice, which on June 24th 2010 had abolished the “Prezzo Minimo,” “Minimum Price” of cigarettes.
The cartel of the three multinational cigarette manufacturers has finally been demolished; Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco, coordinated by Italy’s AAMS (State Monopolies Administration), on one hand, had boosted Marlboro’s net profit up to 600% and on the other, had led the country’s tax revenues into a dead-end.
So, starting from today, the State, freed from this blight, will be able to raise taxes, and Big Tobacco will no longer be able to hike their prices as they please, because they will have to deal with the competition. The abolition of the Minimum Tax is a revolution that clears the way for Yesmoke to offer employment on the Italian market and that gives the AAMS a way out of the dead end road it had got stuck in.
At this point we need to calculate the harm done to the Italian people and present the bill to those responsible. Yesmoke intends to report all those who have been part of this cigarette swindle, thieves who over the years have taken billions of euro from the coffers of the State.