Implementing the provisions of Law 99/2009 of 13 August 2010, the Italian Council of Ministers approved a Legislative Decree for introducing thresholds of wholesale market shares for operators feeding natural gas into the Italian transport network. This substitutes the existing antitrust ceilings introduced by Legislative Decree no. 164/2000 (which expired at the end of 2010), also identifying new measures for increasing competition in the natural gas market. The Decree provides that antitrust ceilings be calculated with reference to the market share of each operator, taking into account the amount of natural gas input into the national network, purchases in spot markets, and sales to importers in Italy made at national network entry points. Consequently, market shares will not be lower than the amount input to the network. Operators in the natural gas market will have to comply with a maximum share of 40% of domestic consumption. A mechanism of gas release at regulated prices is provided in case an operator fails to comply with the mandatory ceilings on the market share. This ceiling can be raised to 55% in case an operator commits itself to building new storage capacity in Italy for a total of 4 bcm within five years. The decree introduces measures for increasing competition in the natural gas market aiming at transferring the ensuing benefits to final customers, increasing storage capacity, supporting the security of supplies and enhancing flexibility in the gas system. To achieve this target, compensation to municipalities interested by the construction of new storage fields has been provided. Furthermore, in 2011 AEEG is expected to publish a new regulation concerning economic compensation mechanisms in the natural gas market.