Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Regulator faces slippery questions in X-rated inquiry

Commerce Commission faces slippery questions in X-rated inquiry

By Pattrick Smellie

June 11 (BusinessDesk) - Consenting adults they may be at the Commerce Commission, since they give consent to merger and acquisition proposals as long as they don't harm competition.

But rarely has this normally straight-laced organ of state been asked to handle as slippery a problem as the proposed acquisition of Johnson & Johnson's KY jelly brand of personal lubricant by Reckitt Benckiser, owners of the Durex range of adult lubricants.

Such is the greasy pole of competitive retailing, however, it seems the commission will need to consider dominance issues that could arise if the makers of the Durex range, described as being "positioned at the playful or adventurous end of the spectrum", were also to own the KY range, which Reckitt says is positioned at the "basic reassurance or medical end of the spectrum."

"Reckitt Benckiser states that personal lubricant products are differentiated by reference to a range of factors, including base ingredient (e.g., water or silicone based), functional attributes, end-use, flavour and target customer base," says the commission statement of preliminary issues. "While most suppliers of personal lubricants produce a range of differentiated lubricant products, Reckitt Benckiser submits that there is substitutability along the spectrum such that they fall within a single New Zealand market for the supply of personal lubricants."

And while supermarkets only stock three lubricant brands, the two under consideration and Ansell, "pharmacies, adult retailers and online shops stock a wider range of personal lubricant brands" and that sex shop and online sales are growing, with customers able to swap smoothly between various options.

"Reckitt Benckiser submits that, post-acquisition, many strong and effective existing competitors would remain and could easily expand," the summary says.

Tragically for the commission and hilariously for juvenile news reports of this potential source of competitive friction, the four page statement of preliminary issues also proposes to "assess the horizontal effects that might arise as a result of this acquisition."

A decision is expected by July 17.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Budget Building Battle: Bill English Blames Council On Housing

The Nation: Finance Minister blames Auckland Council for housing shortage, saying it is responsible for land, housing and infrastructure supply in the city, while government provides rental subsidies... More>>

ALSO:

Megiaglommeration: NZME And Fairfax Apply For Authorisation To Merge

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Wilson and Horton Limited (trading as NZME) and Fairfax NZ Limited seeking authorisation to merge their media operations in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Brewing: Lion To Buy Cult Upper Hutt Brewer Panhead

Lion - Beer, Spirits and Wine (NZ), New Zealand's biggest beer maker, has agreed to buy Panhead Custom Ales from the family of founder Mike Neilson, its second such purchase of a popular craft brewer after the acquisition of Dunedin-based Emerson's Brewing Co in 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news