The fines follow an investigation that found companies guilty of unfairly controlling the prices opticians could charge for their glasses and refusing their sale online. The charges cover an aggregate period from 1999 to 2015, the authority said.
“EssilorLuxottica firmly believes that it has always conducted its business to the highest standards of compliance,” the group said in a statement, adding that the fine was “grossly disproportionate and unfounded”. The company added that it will appeal the authority’s decision and is confident it can prove it factually and legally wrong.
The charges against Luxottica concern all the brands it makes, including that of French fashion house Chanel. Chanel itself was fined 130,000 euros for refusing to allow the sale of its products online, while French eyewear maker Groupe Logo, which made products bearing LVMH’s Tag Heuer brand, has also turned out to have a limited ability of retailers to set prices, was not fined after deciding not to challenge the charges. The logo was liquidated in 2016.
“These anti-competitive practices are serious. Concretely, they implied the use of monitoring and reprisal mechanisms. In addition, they affected consumers, some of them captive and vulnerable, since glasses and, in some cases, sunglasses, are a necessity, ”he added.
A spokesperson for Chanel declined to comment, while LVMH did not respond to a request for comment.Write to Joshua Kirby at [email protected]; @joshualeokirby