Italian Antitrust Authority Opens a Probe into Luxottica’s Acquisition of Barberini

By

ROME—The antitrust authority in Italy announced late last week that it had opened an investigation into the acquisition by Luxottica Group of Barberini, the maker of glass mineral lenses. Luxottica announced the acquisition of 100 percent of Barberini at the end of June, as VMAIL reported, stating that “The purpose of the operation: to strengthen the know-how in the field of glass sun and vision lenses.” As stated in the website of the AGCM-Competition Authority, the operation "is part of the expansion strategy of the Luxottica group implemented in recent years, culminating, lastly, in the merger with Essilor, currently being finalized.”

Essilor and Luxottica announced the completion of their merger on Oct. 1, as VMAIL previously reported.
The Authority said that the effect of the concentration of business must be taken into account, “among other things, that the acquisition of Barberini, the undisputed leader in the development and production of glass lenses for sunglasses, will determine a strengthening of the position of Luxottica as the only vertically integrated operator present at all levels of the production and sales of sunglasses, starting from the production and processing of the glass blank, up to retail sale to the final consumer.”

According to a report from Reuters, the authority said in a document on its website that EssilorLuxottica and Barberini would control 65 percent to70 percent of the Italian sunglasses market.

Luxottica Group would not comment to VMAIL in response to the story.