L’Oréal condemned for spying on Guinot institutes

The world number one in cosmetics L’Oreal was ordered to pay 370,000 euros to the Guinot group, a specialist in beauty institutes.

L’Oréal sent investigators to Guinot franchises

Who would have thought that the world’s number one cosmetics company could come to this? L’Oréal was sentenced on Monday June 14 by the Paris Commercial Court to pay the sum of 370,000 euros to the Guinot company, for espionage. The specialist in beauty institutes, which has a few hundred beauty institutes in France, has taken L’Oréal to court, accusing it of having sent investigators to its franchises without specifying where they came from.

These investigators presented themselves as sent internally by the management of Guinot and they obtained confidential details on the offer of care and the know-how of the institutes, whether with employees and customers. “By not informing the beauticians concerned and consumers of the identity of the commissioner of the survey, (L’Oréal) used unfair means to appropriate information on a direct competitor of one of its subsidiaries” , ruled the court.

Guinot’s international development is hampered

If Guinot won the lawsuit against L’Oréal, the sum set by the court is much less than what the company was hoping for. Indeed, the applicant demanded 13.5 million euros in damages because he believes that the French cosmetics giant has considerably hampered its development by spying on it.

In detail, the court ordered L’Oréal to pay 300,000 euros for “Loss of chance to expand internationally” by adding 70,000 euros in legal costs payable by the group prosecuted for espionage. Asked by AFP, the company says it is very surprised by the decision and suggests that it could appeal.