By Cristina Roca
European Union antitrust authorities have opened a full-scale investigation into EssilorLuxottica 7.2 billion euro ($7.93 billion) deal to buy Dutch peer Grandvision on concerns that it may reduce competition.
The European Commission, the bloc's antitrust authority, said Thursday that its initial market investigation raised several issues about combining the Franco-Italian company's strong market position in the wholesale supply of lenses and eyewear with GrandVision's leading presence in retail distribution of these products.
EssilorLuxottica and GrandVision decided not to submit commitments to address the commission's preliminary concerns during this initial investigation, the commission said.
In the in-depth investigation launched Thursday, the commission "will investigate whether such changes in the competitive landscape of the optical industry could lead to adverse effects on competition, such as increased prices or reduction of choice of optical products for final consumers," it said in a press release.
The commission will decide by June 22, it said.
Write to Cristina Roca at email@example.com; @_cristinaroca