Rolex fined $100 million for thwarting French online watch sales

Rolex fined $100 million for thwarting French online watch sales

By

Bloomberg

Published



Dec 19, 2023

Rolex was fined about $100 million by France’s antitrust agency for an illegal decade-long crackdown on distributors selling the Swiss firm’s luxury watches online.

The Autorite de la Concurrence rejected justifications from Rolex’s French unit that an online ban “was justified by the need to combat counterfeiting and parallel trade.”

The violations are “serious, as they amount to closing a marketing channel, to the detriment of consumers and retailers, when the online distribution of luxury products, including watches, has been booming over the past 15 years,” the regulator said in a statement on Tuesday.

The fine comes with an order for the French unit to inform its retailers of the decision and to publish a summary of it on its website within two months and for seven consecutive days. The decision follows industry complaints and raids by the authority.

The regulator said it found Rolex France jointly liable with Rolex Holding SA, Rolex SA and the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation.

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