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Church & Dwight Loses Bid to Keep Condom Probe Data From FTC

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Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Church & Dwight Co. must turn over sales data sought by U.S. regulators probing retailer discounts the company used to secure shelf space for Trojan brand condoms, an appeals court ruled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today turned down the company’s challenge to a subpoena from the Federal Trade Commission, ruling the agency should get information on Church & Dwight’s sales of other products, too, such as cat litter and toothpaste, so it can determine whether the company is using monopolistic practices.

Church & Dwight, the leading manufacturer of condoms in the U.S., argued that information on non-condom products wasn’t “reasonably relevant” to the FTC probe in part because the agency resolution authorizing the investigation in June 2009 didn’t explicitly request such data. Other brands made by Princeton, New Jersey-based Church & Dwight include Arm & Hammer, First Response, Nair and Orajel.

“The resolution lawfully encompasses an investigation into whether Church & Dwight has bundled discounts for condoms and other products in order to acquire or maintain a monopoly in the market for condoms in the United States,” Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote in the opinion.

Church & Dwight’s marketing services department didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Church & Dwight Co., 10-5383, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net. CHD <Equity>

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