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Feds Sue to Block a Big Shaving Merger

Schick is trying to buy Harry's
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2020 1:48 AM CST
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The Winston razor and Harry's face lotion are on display at the headquarters of Harry's Inc., in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
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(Newser) – Federal antitrust regulators say a proposed merger that would combine old-school shaving company Schick with upstart Harry's would end up costing consumers some skin. The Federal Trade Commission on Monday sued to block Edgewell Personal Care Co.'s $1.37 billion acquisition of Harry's, which was supposed to be finalized this year, the AP reports. The FTC argues that bringing two major shaving brands together would hurt competition. Edgewell's Schick is the No. 2 razor maker in the US, behind Gillette. Both brands were forced to slash prices and overhaul their marketing strategies in recent years in response to the rise of Harry's and rival Dollar Shave Club, which both started as direct-to-consumer digital brands.

"The loss of Harry's as an independent competitor would remove a critical disruptive rival that has driven down prices and spurred innovation in an industry that was previously dominated by two main suppliers, one of whom is the acquirer," the FTC said. New York-based Harry's, which has expanded to sell its products at Target and Walmart, had hoped to capitalize on Edgewell's large distribution channels and Schick's blade technology. Edgewell, which has struggled to turn around Schick's slumping sales, had hoped to leverage Harry's direct-to-consumer marketing base and digital savvy. Harry's co-founders Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield said Monday they were disappointed by the lawsuit and would evaluate their next steps. “We believe strongly that the combined company will deliver exceptional brands and products at a great value,” Raider and Katz-Mayfield said in a joint statement.

(Read more mergers stories.)

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