The French competition watchdog has fined Italian eyewear giant Luxottica 125 million euros for engaging in cartel agreements. The manufacturer is appealing.
Luxottica, which is now part of the EssilorLuxottica group, is alleged to have imposed specific retail prices on opticians for licensed brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Prada between 2004 and 2015. The company is alleged to have not only prohibited the granting of discounts on the eyewear, but also to have blocked online sales of certain brands, reports Zone Bourse.
The high level of the fine is a result of the "seriousness" of the anti-competitive practices. Opticians who did not comply with the eyewear manufacturer's guidelines were reportedly thwarted in many ways, such as delayed deliveries or blocking their accounts so they could not place new orders.
The fact that the company's practices also disadvantaged partly vulnerable and dependent consumers was an additional aggravating factor. "The purchase of spectacles, and in some cases sunglasses, is a necessity," the competition watchdog said. EssilorLuxottica disputes the ruling and is appealing.
Besides Luxottica, LVMH and Chanel were also fined 500,000 and 130,000 euros respectively for similar acts. Chanel would only have prevented online sales.