FALSE PRESS RELEASE VINCI: BLOOMBERG SENTENCED IN APPEAL FOR 3 MILLION EUROS IN FINES
PARIS (Reuters) – The Paris Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the conviction of Bloomberg agency in the fake Vinci press release case, but reduced the amount of the fine to three million euros, report AFP and the newspaper Les Echos.
At the end of 2019, the French gendarme of the Stock Exchange, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), had imposed a sanction of 5 million euros on the American agency specializing in economic and financial information for having relayed the content of a fake press release.
“Our journalists, like others, simply reported on what looked like newsworthy news and were the victims of a sophisticated hoax, the perpetrator of which has still not been found.” , responded in an email to Reuters a spokesperson for Bloomberg.
“We hoped that the Court would recognize the press freedom issues raised by this case,” he added, adding that the agency was evaluating the advisability of an appeal.
The AMF Sanctions Commission had criticized Bloomberg that the publication of the disputed dispatches was not preceded “by any verification by the journalists of the Speed Desk”, adding that the statement, sent to Bloomberg during the meeting stock exchange, contained several inaccuracies.
For its part, the agency criticized the AMF for ignoring “the vital role played by the press in a democratic society”.
Other media had also received this false press release reporting a review of Vinci’s consolidated accounts for fiscal year 2015 and the first half of 2016.
(Written by Tangi Salaün and Nicolas Delame, with the contribution of Anait Miridzhanian, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)