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EssilorLuxottica Plans Appeal After French Competition Authority Levies $81M Fine

Global eyewear giant is accused of restricting online sales of corrective lenses in France for more than a decade.




Essilor International SAS been fined $81.2 million by the French Competition Authority (FCA) for alleged unfair trade practices. Parent company EssilorLuxottica is on the hook for about $15 million of that total.

After a years-long investigation, the FCA concluded that the eyewear giant “engaged in discriminatory trade practices aimed at hindering the development of the electronic commerce of corrective lenses in France.”

The company is accused of suppressing online sales of corrective lenses in France by placing restrictions on their products.

From the detailed press release issued by the French Competition Authority:

“To prevent online sales websites from offering Essilor or Varilux branded lenses to consumers, the strategy developed by Essilor as early as 2009 involved not only refusing to deliver branded lenses to them but also prohibiting them from using Essilor’s trademarks and logos and from communicating the origin of the lenses.”

The authority said these “discriminatory practices” were in place from April 2009 to December 2020. The authority concluded that these practices may be a reason why the cost of corrective lenses in France is higher than in other Western European countries.


EssilorLuxottica firmly disagrees with the ruling and is planning an appeal. In a response to the allegations and hefty fine, the company issued a statement:

“EssilorLuxottica firmly believes in its practices’ legality and in the relevancy of distributing specific segments of prescription products under conditions that enable us to ensure that consumers can get the best vision correction that is required by their individual vision needs.

“The Company also restates that its practices were fully compliant with the competitive and regulatory contexts of the concerned period, and that they benefitted not only its customers and partners but also the whole industry.”

You can read the company’s full statement here.



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