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EssilorLuxottica accused of inflating sales in new antitrust complaint

By Rachel Douglass


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Glasses frames from EssilorLuxottica. Credits: EssilorLuxottica.

French-Italian eyewear manufacturer EssilorLuxottica has been accused of engaging in a price-fixing scheme, with a new filing claiming that the company had inflated prices by as much as 1,000 percent.

An antitrust complaint brought against the firm, which owns the likes of Ray-Ban and Oakley, dubbed EssilorLuxottica an “instigator and primary enforcer”, as noted by Bloomberg.

The case, filed by consumers in San Francisco federal court as a proposed class action, further alleged that the company’s subsidiary, EyeMed, had formed anti-competitive agreements with a number of eyecase providers to “channel millions of consumers into purchasing the conglomerate’s over-priced eyewear”.

The plaintiffs claimed that the EssilorLuxottica had concealed the arrangement between companies in order to keep the terms of agreements disclosed from the public.

The claims come in relation to the Paris-based group’s agreements with Frames for America Inc., For Eyes Optical Co., and Oakley Inc., among others, and particularly address dealings in the US market.

About 20 other luxury eyewear makers had also been named as defendants in the suit.

In the past year, EssilorLuxottica has struck up a series of high-level deals with notable luxury brands, including Swarovski, Brunello Cucinelli and Armani Group, each of which now hold licensing agreements for 10 or more years with the firm.

The group was founded in 2018 and is currently being led by chairman and CEO Francesco Milleri, who stepped into the helm position June 28, 2022.