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Swatch allowed to cut supplies to competitors

The Swatch Group is being allowed to provide fewer watch movements to its competitors while the competition commission considers whether it can stop supplies altogether.

The commission (Comco) opened an investigation into the Swatch Group in June 2011. Its purpose is to determine whether or not the watchmaker’s plans to stop supplying the competition with mechanical movements violate antitrust laws.

Nine watchmakers had appealed to the federal administrative court against Comco’s ruling on December 15 allowing Swatch to reduce its supplies next year to 85-95 per cent of 2010 levels.

The court has now confirmed Comco’s decision.

Several watchmakers have come to depend on the movements and movement blanks made by the Swatch Group. They worry about finding substitute suppliers quickly enough so that their own production does not suffer.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR