The european Commission approved Thursday, march 1, the project of fusion of the French Essilor, the world leader in ophthalmic lenses, with the Italian Luxottica, giant glasses frames, she announced in a press release. After an in-depth investigation opened in September 2017, the european executive came “to the conclusion that the concentration would not have a detrimental effect on competition” in the single market.
“We have consulted with nearly 4000 opticians in Europe and, according to the information collected, Essilor and Luxottica did not become powerful enough on the market to harm competition”, summarized the european commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager. “Our initial concerns have not been corroborated by the results of the consultation of the market players, we can let this concentration be achieved without the sort of conditions”, she added.
The Commission notes in particular that Essilor and Luxottica –which owns brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley– “mainly sell optical products additional which are not in competition.” According to her, “the merged entity would not be able to use its power on the market of sunglasses to oust from the market the suppliers of glasses competitors”.
The merger of Essilor and Luxottica, announced in January, 2017, would give birth to the world leader in integrated optics, with an annual turnover of around 16 billion euros and a market capitalization of nearly 50 billion euros.