Swatch CEO: Company should no longer have to supply competitorsThe Swatch Group recently asked the Swiss competition commission for permission to launch an investigation that would ultimately allow it to reduce its supplies of components to other Swiss watchmakers, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the vaunted Swiss watchmaker is seeking permission to slow its supply to rivals. Swatch, which is the biggest watchmaker in the world, supplies movements and other parts to rival watchmakers in Switzerland. Still, Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek said the company should not be forced to supply components to its competitors.

"There is no industry in the world where one player should be obliged to sell the most important component to competitors," Hayek said in an interview, calling it an "insane situation."

Sales of luxury goods have surged this year as affluent buyers recover from the recession, but its supplier obligations have caused some supply chain disruptions, Hayek affirmed.

The law was originally created to ensure that entry-level competitors were not immediately overtaken by the watch behemoth, but strategic sourcing can eliminate the need, Richemont chief executive Johann Rupert said.

"The pressure brought on Hayek to supply everyone is unfair," Rupert said. "People come here with little capital investment and he has to supply them. If I was in his position I would be upset."
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