In January of this year Proctor & Gamble announced that it was going to acquire Billie, a DTC brand famed for its ‘squeaky clean’ mantra and Gen Z worthy aesthetics.
However the FTC thinks this acquisition gives Proctor and Gamble an unfair advantage because they are already a market leader in shaving products.
They allege that the purchase would eliminate competition that would otherwise benefit the consumer because Billie is a newer but expanding maker of women’s razors that give the consumer the ability have another cheaper option to what is already offered by P&G.
This is a fair point to make given that P&G already own Gillette, Venus, and Joy. Billie has also made it clear through its messaging that they don’t support the ‘pink tax’ – practice of pricing women’s razors higher than comparable men’s razors. Would P&G keep that message going if they were to acquire them?
Ian Conner, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition had this to say about the case; “Billie saw an opportunity to challenge P&G’s position as the market leader by finding underserved, price and quality conscious customers, and building an innovative brand. As its sales grew, Billie was likely to expand into brick-and-mortar stores, posing a serious threat to P&G. If P&G can snuff out Billie’s rapid competitive growth, consumers will likely face higher prices.”
P&G said in a statement that it was disappointed by the FTC’s decision and is considering its options.
What are your thoughts? Are the FTC justified in their action to stop this deal?
Photos via Billie
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