On May 7 2012 the Competition Commission decided to extend, for an additional year, the interim measures that were ordered in 2011 with regard to the supply of mechanical watch movements and watch components by the Swatch Group (for further details please see "Competition Commission opens investigation against Swatch Group"). The extension is intended to give other companies that are active in the watch industry extra time to plan for alternative supply sources. The extension is said to be justified by the fact that:

  • orders for mechanical watch movements take a few months to process; and
  • the investigation against the Swatch Group, which was opened on June 6 2011, will not be finalised before the middle of 2012.

The commission's investigation aims to establish whether the Swatch Group's decision to stop supplying certain components which are necessary for the manufacture of mechanical watch movements should be held unlawful under the Cartel Act and whether it constitutes an abuse of the Swatch Group's dominant position. The procedure is following its ordinary course. At the same time, the commission has ordered provisional measures, on the basis of a mutual agreement reached with the Swatch Group. Those measures provide, among other things, that the Swatch Group is permitted to reduce its supplies of mechanical watch movements to 85% of the quantities purchased in 2010, and to 95% as far as assortments are concerned. These supply quantities are henceforth also valid for 2013.

For further information on this topic please contact Pascal Favre at Tavernier Tschanz by telephone (+41 22 704 3700), fax (+41 22 704 3777) or email ([email protected]).