Paris: The French-Italian owner of the Ray-Ban and Oakley eyewear brands was sued for allegedly scheming with competitors to inflate prices by as much as 1,000 per cent.
Paris-based EssilorLuxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company, is the “instigator and primary enforcer” of the price-fixing scheme in the US market, forming illegal agreements with Frames for America and For Eyes Optical, among others, according to the consumer antitrust complaint filed Friday in San Francisco federal court as a proposed class action.
The complaint also alleges that EssilorLuxottica’s vision benefits subsidiary, EyeMed, has formed anticompetitive agreements with thousands of eyecare providers to “channel millions of consumers into purchasing the conglomerate’s over-priced eyewear.” The consumers claim the unlawful collusion was concealed by an arrangement between the companies to keep the terms of their agreements from being publicly disclosed.
EssilorLuxottica didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
About 20 other luxury eyewear makers were also named as defendants in the suit.