Swatch threatens to seek damages over Swiss antitrust agency’s measures

FILE PHOTO: A Swatch logo is pictured in front of the newly built headquarters, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, of the brand owned by Swatch Group, in Biel, Switzerland October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swatch Group (UHR.S) threatened on Wednesday to pursue damages after it said the Swiss competition authority COMCO wants to prohibit the world’s biggest watch maker from supplying watch mechanisms to other companies during 2020.

“The provisional measures adopted by COMCO are incomprehensible and unacceptable,” Swatch said in a statement. “In view of the negative financial repercussions that these decisions will entail, Swatch Group reserves the right to claim damages.”

COMCO Director Patrik Ducrey told Reuters the agency would issue a statement on Thursday, but said the approach the agency is taking in this long-running issue allows Swatch and its ETA subsidiary to continue delivering mechanisms to small and medium-sized watchmaking enterprises for now. A final decision is expected by summer 2020, Ducrey added.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Kirsten Donovan


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