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Home News & Events COMPETITION LAW NEWS: Commission looks into Luxury Watch Manufacturers

COMPETITION LAW NEWS: Commission looks into Luxury Watch Manufacturers

Tuesday, 13 September 2011 21:44

The European Commission has commenced formal proceedings to investigate an alleged refusal by several luxury watch manufacturers to supply spare parts to independent repairers, and this for possible breach of EU Competition Law. The relative proceedings do not imply that the Commission has conclusive evidence of an infringement.

The matter goes back to 2004 when the European Confederation of Watch & Clock Repairers' Associations (CEAHR) had lodged a complaint, alleging that luxury watch manufacturers were in breach of EU Competition Law since according to CEAHR, from 2002 onwards, watch manufacturers were refusing to supply spare parts to watch repairers who did not belong to their selective systems for repair and maintenance whereas previously luxury watches had been traditionally repaired by independent multi-brand repairers. CEAHR's complaint had alleged that since there were no alternative sources for most of the relative spare parts, the practice adopted threatened to drive out of business independent repairers.

In 10 July 2008 the Commission had decided to reject the complaint filed by CEAHR for lack of community interest. However, in 15 December 2010, in the case T-427/08 CEAHR v Commission, the General Court annulled the Commission's decision of July 2008 by means of which CEAHR's complaint was rejected as aforesaid, mainly because the Commission did not sufficiently motivate why it concluded that there was a not enough Community interest to pursue the investigation.

The EU Commission has commenced its formal proceedings to investigate the complaint afresh in view of the judgment given by the General Court.

For Further Information: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/952&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en