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

 

Fossils: Ancient Penguins Lived Alongside Dinosaurs?

Penguins are much older than previously thought and their evolution probably dates back to the days of the dinosaurs, according to research on the fossilised leg bone and toes of a giant ancient penguin found in rocks near Waipara, North Canterbury. More>>

No Voda/Sky: Commission Declines Clearance For Merger

The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance for the proposed merger of Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Power: IEA Report On New Zealand's Energy System

Outside of its largely low-carbon power sector, managing the economy’s energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions while still remaining competitive and growing remains a challenge. More>>

ALSO:

NASA: Seven Earth-Size Planets Around A Single Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news