Energizer, Walmart sued for conspiring to raise battery prices

Energizer and Walmart Accused of Conspiring to Raise Battery Prices

By Jonathan Stempel

Consumers and retailers have filed three proposed class actions against Energizer Holdings Inc and Walmart Inc, accusing them of conspiring to raise the prices of disposable batteries. According to complaints filed on Friday, Energizer agreed “under pressure from Walmart” to inflate wholesale battery prices for other retailers starting around January 2018, and require those retailers not to undercut Walmart on price.

  • Walmart rivals allegedly risked higher wholesale prices or being cut off by Energizer, the largest U.S. disposable battery maker, if they charged less at checkout than Walmart, the world’s largest retailer.
  • The scheme resulted in higher prices from Energizer and Berkshire Hathaway-owned Duracell, which together control 85% of the disposable battery market, that inflation and changes in demand could not explain, the complaints said.
  • Energizer had been trying to recover sales lost in 2013 when Walmart ended its exclusive battery contract with the retailer’s Sam’s Club unit, and created a team, Project Atlas, that worked to ensure Walmart’s prices would be lowest, the complaints added.

Walmart said it takes “allegations like this seriously and will respond in court as appropriate,” in a statement to Reuters. Energizer did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday. Duracell is not a defendant.

Lawsuits Seek Unspecified Compensatory and Triple Damages

The lawsuits, filed in federal court in San Francisco, seek unspecified compensatory and triple damages under federal and state antitrust laws and various state consumer protection laws. They also seek injunctions to block Energizer from tying battery sales to pricing, and require Energizer and Walmart to “dissipate” the effects of their anticompetitive conduct.

According to the plaintiffs, Energizer’s share of the U.S. disposable battery market has risen to more than 50% from 40% in 2018.

Portable Power is leading the retailers’ lawsuit.

The cases in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, are: Copeland et al v Energizer Holdings Inc et al, No. 23-02087; Portable Power Inc v Energizer Holdings Inc et al, No. 23-02091, and Schuman et al v Energizer Holdings Inc et al, No. 23-02093.

Other Headlines

The Dangers of Social Media for Children

One America’s Jessamyn Dodd reports on the dangers of social media and potential harm for children.

The Future of Artificial Intelligence

The future of artificial intelligence has many people skeptical on what Ai “is” and should we be nervous?

Major Headlines This Week

This week has been filled with major headlines in the U.S. and around the world.

Feud Between Ron DeSantis and Disney

Ron DeSantis continues his feud with Disney, while Kevin McCarthy says businesses should be left alone.

Brazil Lifts Suspension of Encrypted Messaging App Telegram

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s second instance appeals court lifted on Saturday the suspension of the encrypted messaging app Telegram, imposed earlier this…

Biden Administration Addresses Growing U.S. National Security

By David Shepardson and Alexandra Alper WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration outlined efforts this week to address growing U.S. national security

Chinese Ride-Hailing Giant Didi Global Reports 19% Year-on-Year Fall in 2022 Revenue

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Global on Saturday reported a 19% year-on-year fall in 2022 revenue, as the country’s…

OpenAI Raises $300 Million in Share Sale

(Corrects headline and story to show a $300 million share sale, not $10 bln or $10.3 billion) (Reuters) – OpenAI, the company…

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

Related Articles

Sponsored Content
Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker