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French Antitrust Watchdog Fines Eyewear Maker Essilor

 |  November 12, 2022

France’s competition watchdog has fined glasses maker Essilor International 81 million euros ($81.27 million) for discriminatory business practices over an 11-year period, it said on Tuesday.

Related: EssilorLuxottica To Appeal French Competition Regulator’s Ruling

The Competition Authority said Essilor’s actions had been designed to hinder the development of online sales of corrective lenses.

Parent company EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Bans, was also fined 15 million euros.

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.

EssilorLuxottica said it strongly disagrees with the decision and will appeal it. “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.