Procter & Gamble and women’s razor company, Billie Inc., have called off their merger after facing regulatory backlash from the Federal Trade Commission. P&G announced in January 2020 its intentions to merge with the three-year old direct-to-consumer seller.
“We were disappointed by the FTC’s decision and maintain there was exciting potential in combining Billie with P&G to better serve more consumers around the world,” the companies noted in a joint statement.
On December 8, The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block the deal alleging it would eliminate substantial and growing head-to-head competition between P&G and Billie in U.S. wet-shave razor market.
“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,” noted FFC Director Ian Conner in a release by the FTC. “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,” he added.
Billie is positioned as first-to-market with razors, shaving cream and body lotion specifically targeted toward women. The business runs under a subscription model. The company expected the deal to complement its female grooming portfolio.