Following the announcement from Procter & Gamble, Ian Conner, Director of the Bureau of Competition, made this statement:
“Procter & Gamble’s abandonment of the acquisition of Billie is good news for consumers who value low prices, quality, and innovation. Billie is a direct-to-consumer company whose advertising targets customers who are tired of paying more for comparable razors. The FTC voted to challenge this merger because it would have eliminated dynamic competition from Billie.”
On Dec. 8, 2020, the Commission voted 4-1 to file an administrative complaint and authorize staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal court that would stop the proposed acquisition.
The FTC charged that the acquisition would allow Procter & Gamble, the market-leading supplier of both women’s and men’s wet shave razors, to eliminate growing competition from Billie. According to the FTC, Billie targeted Generation Z and Millennial women and attacked the practice of pricing women’s razors higher than comparable men’s razors—otherwise known as the “pink tax.”