Durex condom maker Reckitt Benckiser in sticky situation over lube deal

May 25, 2015
Business
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Durex condom-maker Reckitt Benckiser’s planned purchase of a leading personal lubricant has come under scrutiny by a competition authority over concerns that the deal could mean a rise in prices.

Britain’s Reckitt Benckiser – which is also behind consumer brands including Vanish, Dettol and Nurofen — agreed to buy the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson in March last year.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

But the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said on Friday that it had provisionally found that the deal could lead to higher prices.”After considering the full range of this evidence, the group provisionally believes that on balance the merger could lead to a substantial reduction in competition, possibly through higher prices, making customers buying these products in grocery retailers and national pharmacy chains worse off,” the watchdog said in a release.

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