The Antiques Trade Gazette says it’s official, the French government has released auction houses in France from some of the strictures that prevented them from competing with London and New York on an equal footing:
FRENCH auction houses have won their battle to conduct private treaty sales.
The change in the law that forbade them from doing so came in July after vigorous lobbying from Christie’s, Sotheby’s and others in the face of equally vigorous attempts to prevent a change by those who stand to lose out the most as a result: dealers.
The changes come into force on September 1. […]
Further changes to the law in France now permit auctioneers to complete after-sales beyond the previous two-week deadline and also to offer guarantees, a highly significant marketing tool in recent years, but a system that all but closed down when the market crashed in late 2008, leaving Sotheby’s and Christie’s significantly exposed in the short term.
Regulation has also been tightened, however, with real powers to prosecute auction houses in the civil courts given to the Conseil des Ventes, France’s industry watchdog.
French Lift Ban On Private Treaty Sales in France (Antiques Trade Gazette)