P&G and Gillette Defer to Competition Regulators

22 June 2005

Global consumer goods titans Procter & Gamble and Gillette are to shed some of their smaller brands in advance of their $53 billion (€46.65bn; £29.07bn) merger.

The US-headquartered pair must divest a number of their oral care products to meet competition requirements both domestically and in Europe.

The $22bn oral care industry, including tooth paste, toothbrushes and dental floss, is the most significant overlap between the companies. P&G owns the Crest brand, while Gillette has the Oral B brand.

European regulators are also looking at whether the merged companies would exert undue influence over retailers, demanding premier placement of products on shelves and potentially crowding out competitors.

P&G spokesman Scott Stewart says the company is in discussions with European regulators: "Questions are being asked and questions are being answered."

The European Commission must decide by the end of this month if it wishes to further investigate the merger. P&G will have until July 10 to offer solutions to anti-trust concerns.

The US Federal Trade Commission, which is also scrutinizing the deal, declined to comment.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff