Durex firm's takeover of K-Y Jelly raises price fears

Competition watchdog said deal 'could lead to higher prices for personal lubricants'
Competition watchdog said deal 'could lead to higher prices for personal lubricants' Durex

DUREX owner Reckitt Benckiser's hopes of buying lubricant K-Y Jelly are being confronted by competition concerns over the deal.

Britain's competition watchdog said that the Durex owner's attempt to buy K-Y Jelly from US giant Johnson & Johnson "could lead to higher prices for personal lubricants".

Phil Evans, inquiry chair at the Competition and Markets Authority said: "On balance, there seems to be enough of an overlap in the market for personal lubricants for there to be a realistic prospect of consumers facing less competition and possibly higher prices if the two biggest brands come under single ownership."

While the move may come as a relief to some people across the country, the deal could still go through if Reckitt is willing to reach a compromise with the regulator. The options include a forced sale of K-Y's UK business.

News of the potential takeover first emerged last year.  Although the price was no disclosed, analysts believe the brand is likely to cost Reckitt about $400 million. A final decision is expected to be made by the watchdog before 18 August.

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