Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Legal Matters

v3.20.4
Legal Matters
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Commitments And Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Legal Matters

26. LEGAL MATTERS

From time to time, Kaleyra may be involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of its operations in the normal course of business. Kaleyra is not currently involved in any material legal proceedings as a defendant.

On October 17, 2018, Kaleyra filed a claim against Vodafone Italia S.p.A. (“Vodafone”) before the Court of Milan seeking compensation in the amount of €6.1 million ($7.5 million at the December 31, 2020 exchange rate) for all the damages suffered as a consequence of the illicit and anticompetitive conduct of Vodafone, as previously determined by the Italian Antitrust Authority (namely, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato or AGCM) in their decisions issued on December 13, 2017; Vodafone has appealed that sanctioning resolution before the Italian Regional Administrative Court.

The deadline for filing a counterclaim by Vodafone has passed and according to Italian Law, Vodafone is no longer entitled to file a counterclaim against Kaleyra in these proceedings. Both Kaleyra and Vodafone have filed their final pleadings on October 1, 2019 and October 21, 2019.

The Court of Milan has decided to suspend the procedure, through order no. 1570 on May 18, 2020. The decision of the Court of Milan is based on procedural reasons only (concerning the unprecedented definition of the relationship between administrative and civil proceedings in the case at hand) and does not analyze or take into any consideration the merits of the action brought by Kaleyra. The procedural suspension ordered by the Court of Milan shall last until the appeal brought by Vodafone before the Italian Regional Administrative Court against the decision of the Italian Antitrust Authority is concluded with a definitive judgment. Accordingly, following the order of suspension issued by the Civil Court of Milan, on August 10, 2020, Kaleyra filed a request to speed up the scheduling of the hearing in relation to the pending appeal before the Italian Regional Administrative Court brought by Vodafone Italia. The Court upheld Kaleyra’s request and the hearing has taken place on February 24, 2021. The decision is expected to be released in the second quarter of fiscal year 2021. The outcome of such action cannot be determined at this time. Therefore, no recognition of these actions has been made in the consolidated financial statements of the Company.

On April 16, 2019, Kaleyra filed a claim against Telecom Italia S.p.A and Telecom Italia Sparkle S.p.A. before the Court of Milan seeking compensation in the amount of €8.3 million ($10.2 million at the December 31, 2020 exchange rate) for damages suffered after the illicit conduct of both counterparts, determined by the Italian Antitrust Authority in the decision issued on December 13, 2017.

At the first hearing before the Court of Milan held for the appearance of the parties on December 11, 2019, the judge reserved the decision on the possible suspension of the case in consideration of the appeal brought by Telecom Italia S.p.A and Telecom Italia Sparkle S.p.A. against the Italian Antitrust Authority’s decision of December 13, 2017 before the Regional Administrative Court, which is currently pending.

By order issued on December 14, 2019, the judge released his reserve and referred the issue concerning the relation between the assessment of the pending administrative case and the one to be carried out in the civil case to a panel composed of three judges. The case was therefore adjourned for a hearing on April 29, 2020 where the parties had to file their final pleadings.

On April 9, 2020, following the measures taken by the Italian legislator for the Covid-19 pandemic, the above-mentioned hearing was postponed to and then held on October 7, 2020. At the hearing of October 7, 2020, the parties exposed their closing arguments and the decision on the preliminary question as to the suspension of the civil proceedings has been reserved to a panel composed of three judges. The parties also submitted written observations concerning the preliminary question.

On January 7, 2021, the Court issued an order by which the civil proceedings have been suspended until the decision in the pending administrative case, which was deemed to be prejudicial to the civil one, becomes final (i.e., it is no longer subject to appeal). The order was communicated to the parties via certified electronic mail on January 11, 2021.

In light of the average duration of cases before the Italian Administrative Courts and the Defendants’ interest in both having the Italian Competition Authoriry’s Decision annulled and procrastinating the administrative case (on which the civil proceedings now depend pursuant to the above-mentioned order) for dilatory purposes, the civil case is unlikely to proceed in the short term. In order to speed up the administrative proceedings (and thus the civil case), on February 9, 2021, Kaleyra filed an application with the Administrative Court of Latium requesting that the hearing on the merits of the case be held as soon as possible. However, neither the outcome of Kaleyra’s civil action nor its duration is predictable at this time.

The outcome of such civil action cannot be determined at this time. Therefore, no recognition of these actions has been made in the consolidated financial statements of the Company.

In addition to the above, Kaleyra has appealed the resolutions issued by the Italian Communications Authority (namely, Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni or AGCom) concerning their request for the annual fee to AGCom for years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The first instance proceeding against AGCom’s resolutions for the 2016 contribution was successful for Kaleyra and the Italian Regional Administrative Court annulled the resolutions Kaleyra had appealed (judgement no. 2161/2019). However, AGCom filed its second instance appeal before the Council of State seeking the overruling of the Court’s decision. The appeal has been regularly discussed at the hearing of September 17, 2020 and the Council of State issued its decision number 6175/2020 on October 13, 2020, overruling in part the Regional Court Decision.  AGCom will have to recalculate the annual contribution due from Kaleyra for year 2016. However, the annual contribution is not considered material to Kaleyra’s consolidated financial statements.

For the annual contribution to AGCom relating the years 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the legal proceedings are currently pending before the Italian Regional Administrative Court and no hearing has been scheduled yet. However, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has already delivered its decision on the request for a preliminary ruling submitted by the Council of State on the relevant EU law (case C-399/18). Such decision was delivered on April 29, 2020, in accordance with a simplified procedure due to the previous issuance by the ECJ of a number of judgements on the matter.