Deadline For Swiss Watch Supplies Extended By Regulator
05/15/2012| 02:42am US/Eastern
The Swiss competition authority said Tuesday it is extending measures which force Swatch Group AG (UHR.VX) to supply components to other domestic watchmakers by one year.
Swatch, the world's largest watchmaker, must now supply up to 85% of watch movements and 95% of other components at their 2010 levels in 2013 as well as 2012.
The provisional steps were introduced last year after Swatch asked the authority to launch an investigation which would allow it to reduce the supply of parts to other watchmakers.
Because Swatch has a dominant market position, supplying up to 80% of to the Swiss watch industry's movements, it cannot unilaterally halt the supply without infringing the Swiss Cartel Act.
The authority said on Tuesday the extension into 2013 should allow companies in the sector more time to plan ahead.
"Normally watch manufacturers give the quantities they want to order by the end of June, but we will not finish our proceedings by then," said Patrik Ducrey, assistant director at the competition commission.
"This will give them security for next year," said Ducrey, who added that the investigation was still due to be completed in the second half of the 2012.
Swatch, whose brands include Omega, Tissot and Longines, supplies movements and other parts to rivals in Switzerland through its manufacturing operations.
Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA (CFR.VX), which makes watches under the Piaget, Cartier and IWC brands, also receives many of its components from Swatch.
-By John Revill, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8042 ; email@example.com