Tiffany-LVMH battle gets a new twist with imminent EU antitrust approval

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The world’s largest luxury group, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) is expected to soon receive European Union antitrust approval for its much-maligned acquisition deal with US-based jewelry brand Tiffany. 

Once prospective allies, both Louis Vuitton and Tiffany have been in a long drawn legal battle since early September when the french luxury brand for pulling out of a committed $16 billion merger citing the anticipated US tariffs on French goods.

LVMH, in its statement, stated that it could not go ahead with the deal “as it stands,” citing a request from the French government to postpone the deal beyond January 6, 2021, due to the threat of the US tariffs.

The deal, if it materializes, would be the biggest acquisition in the luxury sector.

American jeweler sued LVMH alleging it to have inappropriately tried to renegotiate a deal that was long finalized in November 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and adversely impacted countries and companies across the globe.

Louis Vuitton took matters further with a counter-suit that it was the American firm’s mismanagement amid the pandemic which has allowed it to reconsider the deal.

All three stakeholders including The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the transaction by 26th October have refused comment on the matter.

Even though both firms have had few overlapping business verticals, none of them have been considered as serious enough to trigger any anti-competition concerns. The deal has already been given green light by several antitrust authorities across the globe including the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment.