EU/US: EC, FTC clear €48bn Essilor-Luxottica merger

European and US Competition regulators approved the €48 billion (US$52.49 billion) merger of Italian eyewear maker Luxottica and French lens manufacturer Essilor, sending shares in both companies higher, reported Reuters.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  dropped a probe into the merger of the two companies following the unconditional approval of the deal by European authorities earlier on Thursday, March 1.  The decisions pave the way for the creation of a global giant in the eyewear industry.The FTC said in a statement that “the evidence did not support a conclusion that Essilor’s proposed acquisition of Luxottica violates federal antitrust laws.” according to the Financial Times.

Europe’s antitrust authorities had opened an in-depth probe in September to investigate concerns that the merger could harm consumers. “We’ve received feedback from nearly 4,000 opticians in a market test in Europe that Essilor and Luxottica would not gain market power to harm competition,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, approving the deal without conditions.

The EU and US approvals mean Essilor and Luxottica are now waiting for the go-ahead from regulators in China.

Full Content: Reuters

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