The Swiss competition commission, Weko, says it has closed a preliminary investigation involving Fischer's and Völkl's trading practices in the Swiss ski market. It was started in October when Weko was made aware of a letter sent out by Fischer to its Swiss retail partners, in which the Austrian supplier indicated that it had closed off a foreign source of parallel imports into the Swiss market. But a spokesman for Weko said it put an end to the preliminary investigation two weeks ago, as it found that these sources were in fact still open.

Weko said the case centered around a Swiss discounter, Otto's, which sold cheap Fischer and Völkl skis purchased in the grey market. In an apparent bid to assuage authorized retailers, the Austrian ski supplier sent out a letter saying that Fischer International was taking action to close off the source of these supplies to Otto's.

The letter reportedly went on to state that Fischer was buying up some of Otto's stock in order to reduce unrest in the market. As Weko explains, measures to cut off a distribution partner involved in parallel imports may have constituted a breach of Swiss competition rules. The Weko case was widened to include Völkl, which declined to comment due to the closure of the preliminary review.

Espresso, a program aired by the Swiss broadcaster SRF, reported that the letter to Fischer's retail clients was sent by Stéphane Cattin, who has since left the company. His job at Fischer in Switzerland was taken over in November by Marco Zingg. He became country manager for Fischer in Switzerland after more than four years as key account manager at the Rossignol group in the same country.