An in-depth investigation has been launched by the European Commission into the proposed acquisition of GrandVision by EssilorLuxottica.

Concerns have been raised that the merger may reduce competition for the wholesale supply of ophthalmic lenses and eyewear, as well as for the retail supply of optical products.

The Commission will assess whether the acquisition will result in increased prices or reduction of choice for consumers and has until June 22 to make a decision.

Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission, said: ‘EssilorLuxottica is the world's largest supplier of eyewear and GrandVision is Europe's largest optical retail chain. In this consolidating market, we need to carefully assess whether the proposed merger would lead to higher prices or reduced choices for consumers when they visit their local optician.’

In a joint statement, EssilorLuxottica and GrandVision said that they aim to complete the acquisition within 12 to 24 months of the announcement date, July 31 2019.

The acquisition has been unconditionally cleared in the US, Russia and Columbia so far, with reviews currently being carried out in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Turkey.