Tiffany ordered to pay $449 million to Swatch

4:28 PM, Dec 22, 2013   |    comments
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Atmosphere at the CFDA and Tiffany & Co. celebration of Fashion's Night Out at Tiffany & Co. on September 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.)
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BERLIN (AP) - Tiffany & Co. was ordered to pay Swatch Group AG about 402 million Swiss francs ($449 million) in compensation over a contractual dispute, the companies said Sunday.

The Netherlands Arbitration Institute also required Tiffany to pay more than $9 million for the Swiss watchmaker's legal fees and the cost of arbitration, according to a statement from the New York-based jeweler.

"We were shocked and extremely disappointed with the decision of the majority of the arbitral panel," Tiffany chief executive Michael J. Kowalski said in a statement. "We do not believe that the award will impact our ability to realize our existing business plans in the short or long term."

He said the company would review its legal options.

The dispute arose in 2011 when Swatch canceled its cooperation with Tiffany, with Swatch saying at the time the jeweler was in breach of contract because it was trying to "block and delay" a joint venture both companies had entered in 2007.

That year, they announced a 20-year agreement where Swatch would create a new company, Tiffany Watch Co. Ltd., to make and sell watches under the Tiffany brand. Swatch was to sell the watches at Tiffany stores and other high-end retailers and share the profits with Tiffany.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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