European Commission seeks feedback from independents

The Commission is investigating the “collective impact” of the proposed Essilor and Luxottica merger

European Commision

An update on the proposed Essilor and Luxottica merger has been provided by the European Commission, which details its difficulty in obtaining information from independent practices.

An online questionnaire was circulated in September to gather information about the market and the way it operates in order to establish whether or not the merger will have a detrimental effect on competition.

During the process of collecting questionnaire feedback, the Commission has found it difficult to obtain marker information from independent practices.

The Commission explained that although these stores may not purchase large amounts of products from the two companies, there is a “collective impact” and independent eye care professionals are likely to be impacted the most.

Essilor and Luxottica have now been requested to submit their client databases in order to identify trends in the different member states of the European Union.

The Commission is particularly looking at freedom of choice and purchasing requirements, such as, if buying a specific brand is only possible if other brands are purchased as well.

The deadline for a decision on the merger has been suspended until Essilor and Luxottica have submitted the information requested by the Commission, which will push back the initial 26 February 2018 deadline.