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60 Minutes Exposes Disturbing Eyeware Monopoly-in-the-Making

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Sticker shock: Why are glasses so expensive?

Have you bought a pair of glasses lately? Bet your eyes popped when you saw the price tag. If you don't go to places like Walmart or Costco, you could easily be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a pair that cost $30 10 years ago. Talk about sticker shock.

And it's not as though things have changed that much: they're still made of a couple of pieces of plastic or wire, some screws and glass. Why should a pair of glasses cost more than an iPad? Well one answer is because one company controls a big chunk of the business.

Never has there been so much choice: Ray-Bans, Oakleys, glasses for running, and skiing, and even reading. A staggering variety of colors and designers. You'd think the competition would force the prices down.

One reason it hasn't is a little known but very big Italian company called Luxottica. If you own a nice pair of specs or shades, they're probably theirs. Luxottica is the biggest eyewear company on earth. It shuns publicity, but CEO Andrea Guerra invited us in for a look. And it was eye-opening.

More here, but make sure you watch the video.

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