Essilor and Zeiss are Cooperating With Investigation of French Optical Market

PARIS— Essilor International and Carl Zeiss Vision are both cooperating with an investigation by the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) into on-line sales of ophthalmic lenses in France.

Responding to a report by Reuters that the French competition watchdog had conducted searches of the offices of several of the country's optic lens makers on Wednesday on suspicion of anti-competitive behavior, an Essilor spokesperson told VMail, “A number of lens manufacturers, including Essilor, are in the scope of the investigation. Essilor is fully cooperating in the inquiry.

“As reported, the French Competition Authority stressed that the searches are part of an ongoing investigation and did not imply any formal charges at this stage.”

Carl Zeiss Vision confirmed in an emailed statement that its French unit had also been searched by the authorities.

“We are fully cooperating with the French authorities. As a maker of optical lenses we are also interested in having swift and legally valid clarification of the relevant standards for internet sales,” a Zeiss spokesperson told VMail.

The French Competition Authority did not name the other lens companies that are under investigation.