The world’s largest cosmetics company, L’Oréal, has been accused of spying on the franchises and know-how of beauty salon specialist Guinot.
The Commercial Court announced its verdict yesterday, Tuesday 15 June, in the Guinot / L’Oréal case. It was ordered to pay 370,000 euros to the Guinot group, the court judging that “elements of Guinot’s know-how were appropriated by L’Oréal” .
The Guinot group is a company that owns about a hundred beauty salons in France, but also sells skin care products. It is also considered to be the number one beauty salon provider.
It has demanded the payment of the sum of 13.5 million euros, believing that L’Oréal had hindered its development by spying on it and also sent “investigators” to the latter without specifying where they came from.
So, this sum was greatly reduced when the judgment was handed down.
It should also be noted that Guinot’s lawsuits began in 2017. At the time, the company already stated that the investigators would have appeared as sent internally by the management of L’Oreal, in order to obtain from employees and customers, confidential details on the offer of care and know-how of the Guinot institutes.
“By not informing the beauticians concerned and the consumers of the identity of the commissioner of the investigation, [L’Oréal] used unfair means to appropriate information about a direct competitor of one of its subsidiaries” , the court ruled.
The court went on to conclude that “The court will order L’Oréal to pay Guinot €300,000 in damages for loss of opportunity to develop internationally”. 70,000 in legal fees will also have to be paid to the court, at L’Oréal’s expense; which brings the total sum to €370,000.
However, when questioned by AFP, the L’Oréal group did not rule out appealing the decision, stating that it was in the process of “evaluating” this possibility.
Also, he said that it was “very surprised” and said it was trying to “understand how it could be considered that, with the help of eight interviews conducted by an external service provider with beauticians, L’Oréal would have monopolised the heart of the know-how belonging to the company Guinot” .
Featured photo : © Aurore Marechal
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