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EU regulators suspend Luxottica, Essilor probe, await data

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EU regulators suspend Luxottica, Essilor probe, await data

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators have suspended an investigation into the $54 billion (£41.2 billion) merger between French glasses group Essilor <ESSI.PA> and Italy’s Luxottica <LUX.MI> after the companies failed to provide requested data. The deal has sparked regulatory concerns that it may lead to price rises or mean retailers are forced to buy both lens and eyewear from the merged company. The European Commission, which opened a full-scale investigation into the case on Sept. 26, said it stopped the clock on Oct. 25. “This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, an important piece of information that the Commission has requested from them,” the EU competition authority said in an email. “Once the missing information is supplied by the parties, the clock is re-started and the deadline for the Commission’s decision is then adjusted accordingly.” Australia’s competition agency cleared the deal last month, saying it did not see any issues. U.S. regulators are also examining the merger. Luxottica’s brands include Ray Ban and Persol, and licensed names such as Chanel and Armani.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Keith Weir)
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