Baldwin requests FTC probe of Energizer’s Rayovac acquisition

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Energizer’s purchase of Spectrum Brands’ Rayovac battery business with the closure of Energizer plants in Fennimore and Portage looming, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report.

The FTC approved the 2018 Energizer-Rayovac merger without conditions, despite financial experts at the time noting that it would give Energizer a controlling interest of more than 40% of the U.S. battery market and more than 85% of the total market.

“Energizer’s dominant position in the battery market even before the acquisition and its post-merger behavior in labor and consumer markets raise material questions regarding the Commission’s 2018 decision that demand immediate explanation,” Baldwin said in a statement. “Given the seemingly brief review of the Energizer-Spectrum Holdings merger and the potential loss of 600 good-paying union jobs, Wisconsin families deserve to know why the FTC failed to challenge this deal.”

Earlier this year, Energizer announced it would be closing the Portage and Fennimore Energizer plants.