July 23, 2020 / 7:29 AM / 23 days ago

EU again halts probe into EssilorLuxottica's Dutch deal

FILE PHOTO: Lens producer Essilor's logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Charenton-le-Pont, France, August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust enforcers have temporarily halted an investigation into Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica’s (ESLX.PA) 7.2 billion euro (6.54 billion pounds) bid for Dutch optician group GrandVision, a filing on the European Commission website showed on Thursday.

The European Union competition regulator did not give details for the move, the third time it has halted proceedings. The previous deadline was Aug. 27.

The move was expected after EssilorLuxottica on Saturday sued GrandVision to get information on whether the management of the Dutch eyewear group might have breached its obligations in its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

A Rotterdam court will hear the case on Aug. 10.

The EU regulatory halt buys more time for EssilorLuxottica to come up with concessions to address competition concerns. The deadline for doing so was this week.

EssilorLuxottica, owner of the Oakley and Persol brands and Varilux lenses, was formed last year from the merger of French lens maker Essilor and Italian eyewear group Luxottica.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee

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