Summons of BETC, subsidiary of the HAVAS group, against Ubisoft
Decision of the Paris commercial court, May 16th 2017
PARIS, FRANCE — June 6, 2017 — In December 2015, following the non-solicited invasion by Vivendi into its capital, Ubisoft decided to end its contract with BETC, a subsidiary of HAVAS.
Due to the capital links between HAVAS, the Bolloré group, and Vivendi, Ubisoft cited a loss of trust and protection of its interests as reason to terminate the contract.
When BETC refused to reach an amicable outcome to this dispute, Ubisoft was obliged to refer the case to the commercial court to record the termination of the contract. Even though Ubisoft remained open to finding an amicable solution and withdrawing the case, the Bolloré group responded by filing a complaint in the same court to claim a sum of €2.75 million.
The Paris commercial court released its verdict on May 16th.
Ubisoft is satisfied with the outcome, specifically when considering that the commercial court took note of the group’s right to early termination of its contract with BETC, whilst granting reduced compensation for termination of the contract to the sum of €785 000, far less than the €2.75 million initially requested by the Bolloré group.
It should also be noted that the court did not retain any of the other claims filed against Ubisoft.
Nonetheless, appealing this decision remains a possibility for Ubisoft, primarily in order to have the courts recognize the capital links between Havas and Vivendi, which are the source of the various conflicts of interest which obliged Ubisoft to terminate the contract.
Ubisoft regrets that BETC, a subsidiary of the future Vivendi/Havas group, preferred to resort to artificial litigation, when an amicable solution, which is more common practice in these circumstances, was both preferable and possible.
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