PARIS — EBay held out hope that damages it was ordered to pay LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2008 over counterfeit luxury goods would be further reduced after a French court partially quashed previous judgments on Thursday.
This story first appeared in the May 4, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The original case concerned transactions that took place between 2001 and 2006 involving counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior products, as well as Guerlain, Givenchy and Kenzo perfumes sold outside LVMH’s selective distribution network.
EBay Inc. and eBay International were initially ordered to pay LVMH compensation totaling 38.9 million euros, or $50.9 million at current exchange, for allowing the sale of counterfeit goods and for the unlawful sale of authentic fragrances.
In 2010, an appeals court upheld the decision, but reduced the compensation to 5.7 million euros, or $7.5 million. No explanation was given for the change in damages at the time.
LVMH, which hailed the original decision as a landmark case, had no comment on Thursday’s development.
The case is expected to be retried in the appeals court in the coming months.
In other LVMH news, the group said it has taken control of Les Tanneries Roux, a French producer of supple calf leathers.
Terms were not disclosed.
Based in Romans, a French region once famous for shoe manufacturing, Roux counts more than 120 employees and turns out leathers for a number of brands controlled by luxury titan Bernard Arnault, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Loewe, Celine and Moynat.
Founded in 1803, Roux posted revenues last year of around 20 million euros, or $27.8 million at average exchange, an LVMH spokesman said.
Late last year, the French conglomerate acquired a 51 percent stake in Singapore crocodile tannery Heng Long International Ltd. for 47 million euros, or $65.4 million at average exchange rates for 2011.
That move signaled a new direction for LVMH, eager to procure supplies to feed robust global demand for high-end leather goods and watches.
Also last year, LVMH acquired 100 percent of ArteCad SA, a manufacturer of Swiss watch dials.