The European Commission said in a statement issued Aug. 5
that it had opened formal anti-trust proceedings to investigate an alleged
refusal by several luxury watch manufacturers to supply spare parts to
That would be a breach of EU competition rules, the
The opening of proceedings follows a complaint lodged by the
European Confederation of Watch & Clock Repairers’ Associations (CEAHR).
According to the complaint, from 2002, watch manufacturers began to refuse to
supply spare parts to repairers that did not belong to their selective systems
for repair and maintenance, a change in how things worked traditionally.
CEAHR’s complaint alleges that because there are no
alternative sources for most of these spare parts, this practice threatens to
drive independent repairers out of business.
The statement says that initiation of proceedings does not
imply that the Commission has conclusive proof of an infringement, but simply
means the Commission will investigate the case.