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Swiss cartel watchdog declines to probe watchmakers over spare parts

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By Reuters

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss competition authority WEKO said on Tuesday it has declined to open a formal investigation into watchmakers including Swatch <UHR.S>, LVMH <LVMH.PA> and Richemont <CFR.S> over the supply of spare parts for independent watch repair shops.

WEKO cited a separate European Commission examination of the same watchmakers that concluded that service-after-sales agreements were neither unacceptable nor an abuse of market dominance. An EU court has already rejected an appeal of that decision, WEKO said.

“No elements could be identified that would point to a conclusion that would differ from the one arrived at by the EU,” WEKO said in a statement.

(Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)