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The new rates, if approved, will apply starting February 1st. The 25 percent level will apply up to $ 200 000. From there up to $ 3 000 000 (instead of the earlier $ 2 000 000) there will be a charge of 20 percent. Anything over $ 3 000 000 will apply to a 12 percent rate.

The announcement, that Sotheby's CEO Bill Ruprechts will be stepping down, came in November, but he will remain in charge until a replacement has been chosen. Ruprechts commented the premium changes by saying that the aim is to improve their revenues and also strengthen their profit margins by doing so.

We now have two of the biggest auction houses facing the same changes. In December we could read that Sotheby's nemesis, Christie's, would face the same change in leadership with their CEO Steven Murphy also stepping down. The question is if this means that Christie's will try to walk in the footsteps served, now that both of them will have to get back from the discomfiture a leader change inevitable has on an organization.

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