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    What you need to know about the Essilor-Luxottica deal


    Deal regulation

    Given the large role Essilor and Luxottica play in their respective industry sectors, ODs have questioned if the new company may violate antitrust or monopoly laws.

    Although both companies are based in Europe, U.S. officials will have a say. According to Dr. Purcell, all countries in which Essilor and Luxottica do business, including the United States, will evaluate this deal.

    “When you really look, there’s very little overlap between the two companies of what businesses we play in,” he says. “You could argue that there’s a small overlap in frames. If you look at the rest of our businesses, there’s almost no overlap, so it doesn’t necessarily increase market share in particular categories. Our counsel believes we’re in a good position, but it will be determined over time.”

    Related: 10 tips for reducing staff time on managed vision care plans

    Looking ahead

    Dr. Rumpakis says he believes the deal will ultimately be a good thing for independent practitioners and will help to give them a voice.

    Dr. Purcell agrees.

    Historically, Luxottica has had no reason to care about the independent OD—and in some ways, it has competed against them. But now, the company has chosen to invest in the independent and give that demographic a voice, he says.

    Essilor consults with an OD advisory panel to gain insight into the community. Now, EssilorLuxottica will form a new, larger advisory committee featuring not just ODs but also opticians and ophthalmologists.

    Related: Profiting with vision care plans

    Ultimately, Dr. Purcell asks that the eyecare community give the company a chance to prove itself before it jumps to any conclusions. Although he is nervous, he says his optimism about the deal outweighs the nerves.

    “Let’s give this a chance before we decide it’s awful or it’s great. We’re in a position we’ve not been in in the past to influence industry,” says Dr. Purcell. “I hope my optometry colleagues will feel the same and that they’ll share with us their thoughts, concepts, and concerns so we can be aware as possible of their sentiments.”

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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