Ubisoft appeals the Paris Commercial Court’s ruling of May 16th, 2017 on the litigation dispute against Havas-BETC to recognize the agency’s capital links with Vivendi and the legitimacy of the termination
PARIS, FRANCE — July 25th, 2017
Ubisoft has decided to appeal the Paris Commercial Court’s ruling of May 16th, 2017 on the litigation dispute over the breach of the contract which bound it to Havas-BETC.
Ubisoft had noted with satisfaction that the Commercial Court took note of the early termination, and significantly reduced the indemnity requested by Havas-BETC. Nevertheless, the Court had considered that Vivendi had “no capital links with BETC, likely to give rise to a conflict of interest”, and therefore did not recognize the legitimacy of the early termination.
Ubisoft wishes the judge to not only acknowledge this termination, but also to recognize that a unilateral termination without compensation was justified, given Vivendi’s unfriendly entry into Ubisoft’s capital shareholding and the capital links between Havas-BETC and Vivendi.
Yesterday, these links were indirect, either through Bolloré SA as intermediary, or through the announcement of “synergies” between the Bolloré Group’s subsidiaries, and are now direct following Vivendi’s purchase of Bolloré Group’s shares in Havas. These links have effectively violated the relationship of trust between Havas-BETC and Ubisoft and led to this decision to protect the interests of Ubisoft and its shareholders.
Given the exclusive and strategic cooperation between an advertising agency and its client, it is the agency’s responsibility to demonstrate that it is in a position to respect its absolute obligation of confidentiality and that it shall make every effort to ensure that no confidential information is disseminated within the group of which it is a member. Any shortcoming in this regard can only lead to a loss of confidence and damage to legitimate and essential interests.
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