L'Oréal, the French cosmetics giant, was ordered to pay 370,000 euros to the Guinot group, a specialist in beauty institutes who accused it of having spied on its franchisees.
The Paris Commercial Court "
judges that elements of the know-how of the Guinot company have been appropriated by the L'Oréal company
", according to a judgment rendered on Monday and sent to AFP on Tuesday by Guinot.
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The amount set by the court is nevertheless much lower than Guinot's claims, which demanded 13.5 million euros in damages because he believes that L'Oréal has considerably hampered its development by spying on it.
Guinot, which has a few hundred beauty institutes in France, accused L'Oréal of having sent "
" to them without specifying where they came from.
Recourse to "
According to Guinot, who had instituted proceedings in 2017, these investigators presented themselves as sent internally by the management of the group itself, and obtained confidential details on the offer of care and the know-how of the institutes, that this either with employees or customers. "
By not informing the beauticians concerned and consumers of the identity of the commissioner of the survey, (L'Oréal) used unfair means to appropriate information on a direct competitor of one of its subsidiaries
" , ruled the court.
However, he considered that this operation had much less serious financial consequences than what Guinot claims.
For the court, by acting in this way, L'Oréal only limited any possible international development, in particular in the United States.
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Consequently, the court will order L'Oréal to pay in damages and interest to Guinot the sum of 300,000 euros for loss of chance to develop internationally
", concludes the court decision, adding 70,000 euros in court costs. at the expense of L'Oréal.
Asked by AFP, especially on a possible appeal, the latter did not respond immediately.