Auction Houses To Pay Off Plaintiffs

When former Sotheby’s chairman Alfred Taubman was convicted of price-fixing in 2001, a flood of lawsuits were filed by collectors who had paid the inflated prices created by the collusion between the auction house and its main rival, Christie’s. The auction houses have already paid more than $512 million to resolve such claims in the U.S., and now, a settlement has been reached for each house to pay an additional $20 million for claims from overseas buyers. $20 million is a drop in the revenue bucket for the world’s two largest auction houses, and observers say that the settlement is great news for Christie’s and Sotheby’s.