Reckitt Benckiser / K-Y brand merger inquiry

The CMA investigated the anticipated acquisition by Reckitt Benckiser of the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson and has accepted undertakings.

Administrative timetable

Phase 2 date Action
4 November 2015 Statutory deadline for remedial action
18 August 2015 Statutory deadline
12 August 2015 Final report published
Early July 2015 Final deadline for all parties’ responses/submissions
May/June 2015 Consider possible remedies and response hearing(s)
22 May 2015 Notified provisional findings and possible remedies
Late April 2015 Deadline for all parties’ responses/submissions required before provisional findings
March/April 2015 Main party hearing, verify information, consider provisional findings
Mid-February 2015 Publish statement of issues
January/February 2015 Gather information, issue questionnaires, hear third parties
7 January 2015 Merger reference made

Remedy implementation

CMA approves K-Y licence in UK

20 June 2016: Reckitt Benckiser has licensed the K-Y brand to Thornton & Ross for 8 years and completed its merger with Johnson & Johnson.

Remedy group appointed

17 November 2015: Following the CMA’s acceptance of final undertakings from Reckitt Benckiser and Johnson & Johnson, the remedy group has now been appointed.

Phil Evans (Chairman), Marisa Cassoni, Roger Finbow and Andrew Popham.

Phase 2



Final undertakings

4 November 2015: The CMA has accepted final undertakings from Reckitt Benckiser and Johnson & Johnson to remedy the substantial lessening of competition identified in the final report.

Response to draft final undertakings

Notice of proposal to accept final undertakings

9 October 2015: The CMA gives notice of the proposal to accept final undertakings and is inviting comments by 23 October 2015.

Final report


Provisional findings

22 May 2015: The CMA has provisionally found that Reckitt Benckiser’s anticipated acquisition of the K-Y brand could lead to a substantial lessening of competition.


The publication of the evidence of any party on the CMA’s web pages does not indicate in any way endorsement by the CMA of the views expressed in the evidence or acceptance of that evidence. Publication in this way is designed to assist public understanding of the issues.

Responses to provisional findings

Responses hearing summaries

Responses to notice of possible remedies

Hearing summaries

As part of its evidence-gathering process, the CMA is holding hearings with a range of industry customers and interested parties.

Initial submissions

The CMA’s merger inquiry is independent and welcomes submissions from all interested parties.

Responses to issues statement

Issues statement

5 February 2015: The issues statement sets out the scope of the investigation. It outlines initial theories on what might be adversely affecting competition, but it does not set out findings or conclusions.

Inquiry group appointed

12 January 2015: The CMA has appointed the inquiry group.

Phil Evans (Chairman), Marisa Cassoni, Roger Finbow and Andrew Popham.

Terms of reference

7 January 2015: The CMA has referred the anticipated acquisition by Reckitt Benckiser of the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson for an in-depth phase 2 investigation.

Phase 1

Phase 1 date Action
29 January 2015 Decision published
19 December 2014 Decision announced
27 October to 10 November 2014 Invitation to comment
27 October 2014 Launch of merger inquiry

Reference decision

Reference unless undertakings accepted

Launch of CMA merger inquiry

27 October 2014: The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties.

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