Due to the potential for a price increase, personal care company Reckitt Benckiser was ordered to licence its new purchase of the K-Y personal lubricant brand to a competitor in the UK for eight years.
UK regulator Competitions and Markets Authority has requested the move in order to allow time for a competitor to develop and market a rival brand. Following the purchase of the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson, both companies together now sell almost 75 per cent of the personal lubricant market in supermarkets and pharmacies, with Reckitt Benckiser also owning the Durex brand. This would therefore mean a potential price increase due to lack of competition in the market.
Phil Evans, chairman of the competition authority’s inquiry, said in a statement, “There is 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.”