EssilorLuxottica has been sued for illegal price-fixing. The eyewear giant that owns brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley allegedly inflated prices by up to eleven times, a US consumer organisation claims.
With hundreds of suppliers
The organisation claims that a price-fixing cartel has been keeping prices for eyewear and sunglasses artificially raised for years, with prices being raised by up to 1,000 %. More than twenty eyewear manufacturers are allegedly involved, but EssilorLuxottica is said to be “the instigator and main implementer” of the cartel.
Among others, manufacturers Frames for America and For Eyes Optical were reportedly part of the conspiracy, Bloomberg reports. They allegedly agreed not to disclose the terms of their agreements. The consumer organisation is therefore taking the world’s largest eyewear company to court in San Francisco. The plaintiff also hopes more aggrieved people will join.
In addition to the retail market, EssilorLuxottica is also alleged to have entered into agreements with hundreds of eye care providers through subsidiary EyeMed. This way, millions of Americans were allegedly pushed to buy the manufacturer’s “overpriced eyewear”. As by far the largest eyewear manufacturer in the world, with also a strong retail position as owner of Pearle, Sunglass Hut and more, the group has been accused of monopolistic behaviour and unfair competition on several occasions.