Competition – news story

CMA publishes statement of issues over lubricants merger

The CMA has published an issues statement following its referral of Reckitt Benckiser’s anticipated acquisition of the K-Y brand for an in-depth phase 2 investigation on 7 January 2015.

The inquiry group of Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) panel members must decide whether a relevant merger situation has been created and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services. The inquiry group must report by 23 June 2015.

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) supply personal lubricants to a number of retailers, including grocery retailers and national pharmacy chains under the Durex and K-Y brands respectively. RB agreed to purchase the K-Y brand from J&J on 10 March 2014.

The issues statement identifies clearly for all interested parties the key questions which the inquiry is examining. The issues statement does not imply that the inquiry group has yet identified any competition concerns. The full issues statement is available on the investigation case page along with all other published information relating to the investigation.

Anyone wishing to respond to the issues statement should do so in writing, by no later than 5pm on 20 February 2015. Please email or write to:

Project Manager
Reckitt Benckiser / K-Y Brand merger inquiry
Competition and Markets Authority
Victoria House
Southampton Row