FTC Puts the Brakes on P&G’s Acquisition of DTC Razor Startup, Billie

  • The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed an administrative complaint and authorized a lawsuit in federal court to block The Procter & Gamble Company’s (“P&G”) proposed acquisition of direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) razor and body care products company, Billie, Inc. (“Billie”). According to the FTC’s press release, the complaint is based on allegations that the proposed acquisition would eliminate growing competition in the wet-shave razors market.
  • The FTC claims that Billie, which sells mid-tier women’s razors, competes head-to-head with market-leading P&G, and has seen its online sales grow significantly in the two years since it was formed. The FTC states that the proposed acquisition would eliminate competition between the two companies, and that the announced deal had already derailed Billie’s planned expansion into brick-and-mortar stores, which the FTC believes would have benefitted consumers through stronger competition at retail locations.
  • The FTC stated that it intends to file a complaint in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to stop the deal pending an administrative trial.