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EssilorLuxottica To Appeal French Competition Regulator’s Ruling

 |  November 8, 2022

France’s competition watchdog levied a fine on eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica SA for unfair trade practices dating back more than a decade ago, saying Essilor had curtailed consumer choice and abused its dominant position in the French corrective-lenses market.

The country’s competition authority said Tuesday that it had fined Essilor International SA–the French optical-lens maker that merged with Italian sunglasses manufacturer Luxottica–roughly 81 million euros ($81.2 million). Parent company EssilorLuxottica will be responsible for EUR15.4 million of the total.

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Essilor had prevented some online platforms from offering Essilor or Varilux branded lenses to consumers from as early as 2009, a practice that went on for nearly 12 years. It also refused to deliver branded lenses and prohibited those platforms from using Essilor’s trademark and logos, the watchdog said.

Essilor’s practices may have played a role in keeping the price of glasses at high levels and also contributed to limiting consumer choice, the authority said.

“The company also restates that its practices were fully compliant with the competitive and regulatory contexts of the concerned period, and that they benefited not only its customers and partners but also the whole industry,” EssilorLuxottica said in a statement.