Media Release


Fine against Alcon Inc.

The Sanctions Commission of SIX Group AG has sanctioned Alcon Inc. with a fine of CHF 100’000 for breaching the provisions on ad hoc publicity negligently.

SIX Exchange Regulation AG (SER) which is responsible for monitoring and enforcing stock exchange regulations concerning listed companies, opened an investigation against Alcon Inc. on 27 January 2023 after having conducted a preliminary inquiry. The reason hereof was the ad hoc announcement published on 23 August 2022 “Alcon to Acquire Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Enhancing its Ophthalmic Pharmaceutical Portfolio”. Having completed a thorough investigation, SER submitted a sanction proposal to the Sanctions Commission of SIX Group AG. Considering the sanctions proposal and the arguments of the Company, the Sanctions Commission sanctioned Alcon Inc. by decision dated 10 August 2023 with a fine in the amount of CHF 100'000. The decision of the Sanctions Commission of SIX Group AG became legally binding after Alcon Inc. chose not to appeal.

The Sanctions Commission of SIX Group AG largely concurred with SER’s sanction proposal regarding the alleged violations of the Listing Rules and the Directive on Ad hoc Publicity (DAH). It held that, due to a human error of an external service provider, for the acts of which Alcon Inc. bears responsibility according to the regulations, the distribution of the ad hoc announcement dated 23 August 2022 was not in full compliance with the regulatory requirements. The delayed operation of the e-mail distribution (push system) at 11.25 am violates Art. 7 DAH in connection with Art. 8 DAH and Art. 10 para. 2 DAH and consequently also Art. 6 DAH.

The degree of fault has been qualified as negligent, the severity of the breach as “serious but not as severe”. In determining the level of fines, the Sanctions Commission of SIX Group AG considered the impact of the sanction on the party concerned.