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French court lowers Bloomberg fine over hoax Vinci statement -media reports By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of the Bloomberg building is seen in New York, November 7, 2013.REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

PARIS (Reuters) – A French appeal court on Thursday upheld a ruling by France’s markets watchdog AMF against U.S. news agency Bloomberg for publishing a hoax press release, French media reported, but lowered its fine to three million euros.

Bloomberg News originally received a five-million euro ($5.9m) penalty in December 2019. The publication of a fake press release about Vinci construction company was the reason for its denial.

At the time, the AMF stated that Bloomberg had to have known that the false information contained in the hoax press conference was fake.

After Thursday’s decision, a Bloomberg spokesperson stated that journalists had reported only on newsworthy information. “The perpetrator has yet to be found.”

We hoped the court would acknowledge the importance of press freedom. They stated that they were disappointed by the court’s decision not to overturn the initial one and would consider their options for appeal.

Vinci shares dropped 18% to Nov. 22, 2016, after the false statement claimed that Vinci would revise 2015 and 2016 accounts, and that its chief financial officer would be fired.

Bloomberg had been accused of publishing a statement that it didn’t verify and the AMF claimed it was taking action.

Vinci’s shares rose after Bloomberg denied Vinci’s report. The company claimed that it had made the false statement and the price of Vinci stock recovered.

($1 = 0.8504 euro) The ruling of the appeal court was not immediately accessible on its site or that of AMF.

($1 = 0.8504 euros)

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