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Artprice Launches Penal Proceedings Against Christie’s and a Simultaneous Referral to the Competition Authorities

February 18, 2010

PARIS, February 18, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Following the press
release of Tuesday 9 February 2010 in which Artprice openly explained the
claim brought by Christie’s, Artprice hereby emphatically declares that it is
launching penal proceedings based on Article L.465-2 of the French Monetary
and Financial Code and confirms the statements made by Artprice in the
weekend Financial Times of 14 February 2010. In effect, the Christie’s Group,
an opaque and unlisted company, is making exorbitant demands, without any
serious grounds whatsoever, in an attempt to force Artprice into declaring a
potential liability to its 18,000 shareholder. The apparent objective of this
strategy is to deflate Artprice’s share price so that the company might
become vulnerable to a hostile takeover bid. It should also be said that this
is Christie’s second attempt at such a manoeuvre, and that in their latest
writ, there is no mention of their previous failed legal assault on Artprice
in 2001.

More details of Christie’s manoeuvres in relation to this case are
available in our 9 February press release (3 pages clearly describing the
unsubstantiated and gratuitous legal action brought by Christie’s). In
response, Artprice has referred the matter to the competition authorities,
with particular reference to Article 420-1 of the French Code of Commerce
directed principally at Christie’s, but also at Camard, Artcurial,
Neret-Minet and Aguttes, for having expressly or tacitly collaborated in an
attempt to limit access to the market and the free competition of other
companies.

According to Artprice, the application in 2010 of the French government’s
transposition of the European Directive concerning online auctions is the
principal economic motive that has pushed the above-mentioned parties into
taking the actions and committing the offences against which we have decided
to take firm legal actions.

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2010 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice is the world leader in art market information with over 25
million auction prices and indices covering over 405,000 artists. Artprice
Images(R) offers unlimited access to the largest database of art market
information in the world, a library of 108,000,000 images and engravings of
art works from 1700 to the present day. Artprice continuously updates its
databases with information from 3,600 international auction houses and
provides daily information on art market trends to the main financial press
agencies and to 6,300 press titles worldwide. Artprice offers standardised
adverts to its 1,300,000 members (member log in) and is the world’s leading
market place for buying and selling works of art (source: Artprice).

Artprice is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris: Euroclear: 7478 -
Bloomberg: PRC – Reuters: ARTF

Contacts: Josette Mey – tel: +33-(0)478-220-000, e-mail: ir@artprice.com

SOURCE Artprice.com


Source: newswire



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