European Commission is presented with seemingly simple task to allow or deny EssilorLuxottica the right to acquire GrandVision. It is not about something lifesaving and utterly important. It’s about fancy eyewear. EC failed miserably and drowned in paperwork. After month of it bureaucrats get tired and postponed the decision indefinitely.
The deadline for the European competition investigation into the acquisition of optical group GrandVision by eyeglass manufacturer EssilorLuxottica has been suspended until further notice. Initially, the European Commission would come to an opinion on August 27 regarding the purchase of the parent company of spectacle chains such as Pearle and Eye Wish.
The postponement came at the request of GrandVision and EssilorLuxottica itself. The latter company, which owns the brands Ray-Ban and Oakley, recently announced that it would go to court to obtain more information from GrandVision. The Italian-French company wants more details about how GrandVision is tackling the corona crisis, but wouldn’t get it now.
At the beginning of this year, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the acquisition, which involves around 7.2 billion euros. There are major concerns about the consequences for consumers of the merger. After all, EssilorLuxottica is the largest eyewear supplier in the world and GrandVision is the largest European eyewear retailer. This convergence of market power may result in higher prices or less choice on the market.
The committee is said to have required EssilorLuxottica to sell stores in Italy and the Netherlands or France for green light for the acquisition. This condition is sensitive, because such a sale is difficult and probably not lucrative due to the corona crisis.