* Essilor said to be among those searched
* Germany's Carl Zeiss Vision confirms probe
(Adds comment from Carl Zeiss Vision)
PARIS, July 10 France's competition watchdog
said it had raided several optical lens makers on suspicion of
A brief statement from the Autorite de la Concurrence on
Thursday said that it had conducted searches the previous day.
It did not name the companies targeted, but an official with the
regulator said that global market leader Essilor was
The watchdog emphasised that the searches were part of an
ongoing investigation and that no formal charges had been made.
A spokeswoman for Essilor confirmed that the regulator had
searched the group's offices and had seized documents as part of
an investigation into online sales of optical lenses but did not
provide further details.
"We are cooperating with the investigation," she said.
Germany's Carl Zeiss Vision confirmed in an
emailed statement that its French unit had been searched by the
authorities. It said the investigation concerned whether makers
of optical lenses were restricting the online sale of glasses.
"We are cooperating with the French authorities, because as
a maker of optical lenses we are also interested in having swift
and legally valid clarification of the relevant standards for
internet sales," a spokesman said.
(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Natalie Huet; Additional
reporting by ilona Wissenbach and Victoria Bryan in Germany;
Editing by David Goodman and Jane Baird)