No infringement of competition
The Competition Authority, an administrative body, was seized in February 2017 by the Federation of Nautical Industries in the conflict between it and Reed Expo. A clause, attributing the organisation of the Cannes Yachting Festival to Reed Expo for a period of 20 years after the normal term of the contract, is at the heart of the dispute. Its application gives the management of the Cannes boat show in Reed until 2041. The French Competition Authority has just declared it to be in compliance with competition law.
No emergency measures
The FIN's complaint concerned an "abuse of economic dependence" and called for emergency measures to be put in place. Like the Tribunal des Référés in February 2017, then referred to it by Reed Expo, the Competition Authority considered that no urgent measures were necessary.
Reed claims a victory
In its press release, Reed Expo considers this decision to be an important victory that sees "the attempt by the FIN to take over the organisation of the Cannes Yachting Festival fail."
Its director, Michel Filzi, is planning the 2018 edition. "Reed is proud and happy to be able to continue to work calmly on the development of the Cannes Yachting Festival for the benefit of French and international yachting professionals, its partners and the Cannes economy. A new project for the show is due to be launched in 2018 to satisfy customers waiting for more space. We will be able to devote ourselves fully to it."
Contacted by BoatIndustry, Fabien Métayer, General Delegate of the Federation of Nautical Industries, indicated that he took note of the decision. "We acknowledge and respect the decision. We were aware of the risks of being dismissed by filing the appeal in February, given the urgency of the measures requested. In the meantime, the proceedings of the High Court remain ongoing."
Decision on the merits in 2018
After the exhaustion of emergency procedures, it will now be necessary for both parties, but also for yachting professionals, all concerned about the future of the Cannes Boat Show, to wait for the decision on the merits scheduled for 2018.