The European Union’s antitrust regulators have extended the deadline for their decision on the 7.2-billion-euro bid made by EssilorLuxottica, a leading eyewear manufacturer, for the acquisition of Dutch opticians group GrandVision. The new deadline for the decision is now set for August 13, as disclosed in a filing by the European Commission.

Earlier in February, the regulators expressed concerns about potential negative consequences resulting from the proposed deal, particularly in terms of increased prices and limited choices for consumers. In light of these concerns, the investigation was temporarily halted on April 7, thereby allowing the companies involved to provide additional data to address the Commission’s reservations.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted numerous industries worldwide, including those engaged in merger deals. Consequently, the companies involved in this transaction, like others, have been granted additional time to gather and present the required information to the regulators. This flexibility in response timelines aims to accommodate the challenges faced by businesses due to the pandemic.

EssilorLuxottica is not only renowned for its eyewear manufacturing capabilities for luxury brands like Chanel, Prada, and Versace, but also for its extensive network of retail stores. The acquisition of GrandVision would therefore further consolidate EssilorLuxottica’s position in the eyewear market, potentially resulting in a significant market concentration.

This development holds significant implications for the eyewear industry and the competitive landscape within the European market. It remains to be seen how the regulators will weigh the benefits and potential risks associated with this merger.

Useful links:
1. Prescouter – Eyewear Industry Overview
2. KPMG – Germany’s Optician Market