Watch shows: no dominant position for Palexpo

The Competition Commission (Comco) will not intervene in the organization of watch shows. It waives the right to initiate proceedings concerning the exclusive contract between Palexpo and the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), partially owned by the Geneva luxury group Richemont. The Comco was arrested last September by Swiss Creative Lab (SCL), the company organizing the Imagination fair, which deplored not being able to rent space in the Geneva exhibition hall.

This exclusive contract, in force since 1991, stipulates that Palexpo cannot host watch shows other than Watches & Wonders – organized by the FHH – regardless of the time of year. Swiss Creative Lab denounced an “obstacle to free competition” and accused Richemont of abusing “a contractual clause” to prevent it from launching its own event initially planned for February 2021 at Palexpo.

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