Artprice’s reply to the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (French auction market supervisor)
Artprice discovered, first via the media and then via an email received from the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, the latter’s request that Artprice should clearly and unequivocally indicate to the public its quality as an electronic auction broker « d’opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique (in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) ». Considering our long, constructive and peaceful relations with the French auction market supervisory authority (Conseil des Ventes Volontaires), we believe that its reaction to the forthcoming launch of our online auction brokerage activity (18 January) is based on a misunderstanding that will be cleared up once it has examined our documentation and particularly the preventative measures we have taken to avoid confusion in this respect.
In the first instance, Artprice invites the financial markets, its shareholders, its1.3 million members and of course the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires to consult the financial documentation and press releases that Artprice has submitted to Actusnews, a special financial information website certified by the AMF (French Financial Markets Authority), and particularly the press release dated 1 January 2012 in which Artprice states in the very first line, without any shadow of ambiguity, that its new online activity is indeed an online auction brokerage activity (« opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011”).
In fact, in order to avoid any confusion between the different legal statuses and activities covered by Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011, Artprice has commissioned a court-appointed attorney to take all necessary steps to highlight the precautionary measures taken by Artprice via its regulated disclosures, the presentation on its website of its new activity, the General Conditions of Use published thereon and various other communication media, in order to avoid any confusion between Artprice’s activity (auction brokerage) and that of public auction sales.
Moreover, Artprice has taken the precautionary measure of translating into all the languages used by its website the key information concerning its new service and it has deliberately avoided translating the references to its legal status under Article 5 of the Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 precisely in order to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation that could arise from an inappropriate translation of Artprice’s status under Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 vis-à-vis the other legal statuses that govern public auction sales.
In conclusion, Thierry Ehrmann, CEO and founder of Artprice, declares that he is perfectly satisfied with the measures taken by Artprice and that Artprice will commence its online auction brokerage activity (opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique) on 18 January 2012 in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) and that the public will be able, as of Monday 9 January, to preview several thousand items advertised for sale at a broad range of prices, ranging from collectibles to museum-quality artworks. In total, Artprice has received ads representing roughly 700 million dollars in starting prices. As regards any legal discussions with the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (Paris District Court), Artprice and its CEO believes that its will provide, through its lawyers Emmanuel Pierrat and Thierry Dumoulin, all the necessary elements to satisfy the parties concerned and to resolve the problem by eliminating any possible form of ambiguity.
It is clear that after nearly 500 years of monopolistic functioning, the auction market’s ambitious reform of 20 July 2011 (imposed by the European Directive Services) is bound to unsettle certain players in the market who are unaccustomed to free competitions environments.
Artprice cannot avoid the observation that having posted the best performance on the regulated French stock market (+ 472% since 1 January 2011) with a total volume of shares worth 873 million euros and a sliding annual progression of no less than 593% and 144 million euros of shares traded since 1 January 2012, it is naturally an object of envy and an attractive acquisition target for the historical players in the auction market who for reasons of conservatism have missed the train of History and of the Internet.
Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann
Artprice is the global leader in databank on Art prices and indices with more than 27 million indices and auction results covering 450,000 Artists. Artprice Images(R) gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world, a library of 108 million images or engravings of artworks from 1700 to the present day along with comments by Artprice’s art historians. Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 3,600 auctioneers and publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the main news agencies and 6,300 international written media. For its 1.3 million members (member log in), Artprice posts standardized adverts in what is today the world’s leading Standardised Marketplace® for buying and selling works of Art (source Artprice).
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