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By Silke Koltrowitz
ZURICH (Reuters) – Swatch Group will be chargeless to accumulation automated watch movements wherever it wants, but won’t be accustomed to corruption its ascendant bazaar position by undercutting rivals’ prices, Swiss antagonism babysitter WEKO said on Wednesday.
The accommodation resolves a year-long altercate amid the world’s better watchmaker and its capital adversary in automated watch movements, Sellita.
Alternative suppliers for automated watch movements – the tiny mechanisms that accomplish timepieces beat afterwards a array – had emerged back 2013, WEKO said in a statement, but Swatch Group’s movement assemblage ETA was ascendant because of its assembly capacity.
Swatch Group said it had taken agenda of the decision, while another suppliers Sellita, Ronda and Soprod did not acknowledge to requests for comment.
Shares in Swatch Group rose 4% by 0913 GMT, outperforming the broader area <.SXQP>.
Under a accord addled in 2013, Swatch Group boring phased out movement deliveries and would accept been chargeless to accumulation anyone it capital from 2020, but WEKO was clumsy to accomplishment its circuitous analysis in time. In December, it finer barred ETA from carrying movements this year.
Asked about apropos Swatch Group ability use its abandon to flood the bazaar with movements and aching antagonism – abnormally afterwards the COVID crisis led to overcapacity – WEKO said the industry had years to adapt for this and Swatch would not be accustomed to corruption its position.
Swatch Group will still accept to accumulation the axial apparatus of anniversary automated watch movement, accepted as assortments, to the absolute industry due to its cartel position.
Following complaints, WEKO said it could adjudge to alpha a new enquiry on assortments.
Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox said the bazaar liberalisation would acquiesce Swatch Group to advance accommodation utilisation and advantage by affairs movements to third parties or application them for its own brands depending on demand.
Swatch Group on Tuesday acquaint a 46% abatement in sales and its aboriginal anytime net accident for the aboriginal bisected of 2020.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields, Louise Heavens and Barbara Lewis)
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