The Federal Trade Commission has approved Reckitt & Colman PLC's plan to divest its rug and room deodorizer assets to Block Drug Company, Inc. The assets to be divested include those related to Reckitt's "Carpet Fresh" and "Rug Fresh" brands of rug and room deoderizers. Reckitt also is licensing to Block the right to use its "Botanicals," "Airwick Neutra Air," and "Airwick" trademarks in connection with those rug and room deodorizer assets.
Reckitt is based in London, and does business in the United States through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Reckitt & Colman, Inc., of Wayne, New Jersey. Block is a consumer and professional products company whose brands include "Poli-dent," "Dentu-Cream," and "Nytol." It is based in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Prior approval of the divestiture was required by an April 1995 order settling allegations that Reckitt's acquisition of L&F Products, Inc. would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. market for carpet deodorizer products. Under the order, the Commission agreed not to challenge the acquisition so long as Reckitt divests its rug cleaning assets and its carpet deodorizer assets to a Commission-approved buyer within six months. Reckitt received prior Commission approval and has already divested the rug cleaning assets to Playtex Products, Inc.
Reckitt had also been required to obtain the Commission's approval for the L&F acquisition under a 1990 consent order that settled charges over Reckitt's acquisition of the Boyle-Midway Division of American Home Products Corporation, which, at the time, made rug cleaning products under the Woolite name. Reckitt made "Spray'n Vac" and other rug cleaning products. The 1990 order, among other things, requires Reckitt to obtain FTC approval before acquiring any interest in a company that manufactures or sells rug cleaning products in the U.S. L&F makes both carpet-deodorizer and rug-cleaning products. The Commission conditioned its approval of the L&F acquisition on Reckitt's compliance with the new order.
The Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 5-0.
Copies of the letter of approval and Reckitt's application are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(1994 Order FTC Docket No. C-3571 -- this docket number was changed from C-3566)
(1990 Order FTC Docket No. C-3306)