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Rolex faces $100 million fine for hindering online watch sales
release date:2024-01-24 18:45
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French competition watchdog Autorité de la concurrence has imposed a hefty fine of €91.6 million on Rolex France, Rolex Holding SA, the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation and Rolex AG. The penalty comes in response to an investigation into reports that Rolex banned its retailers from online sales for ten years, a practice that violated competition regulations. Rolex argued that the ban was essential to combat counterfeiting and protect its brand image, but regulators deemed it an unreasonably restrictive measure. The regulator highlighted that other competitors facing similar risks have successfully implemented less restrictive measures to boost online sales. The regulator believes the fines reflect the severity and duration of these restrictive practices, which adversely impact consumers and retailers. Online sales of luxury goods such as timepieces have experienced significant growth over the past 15 years. The agency said in a statement that its decision involves more than just financial penalties and requires Rolex France to communicate the ruling to its authorized retailers. In addition, Rolex France must publish a summary of the ruling on its website within two months and display it for seven consecutive days. The ruling also applies to the print and electronic editions of well-known publications such as Le Figaro and Montres Magazine, ensuring wider dissemination of details of the ruling.