• From Reuters:
"Walmart and Energizer were ordered by a U.S. judge to face lawsuits by consumers and retailers accusing them of violating antitrust law by conspiring to raise prices of disposable batteries.
"In a decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge P. Casey Pitts said plaintiffs in the three proposed class actions plausibly alleged that in exchange for preferred treatment at its stores, Walmart pressured Energizer to inflate wholesale battery prices and keep other retailers from undercutting it on price.
"The plaintiffs said the alleged conspiracy began in 2018, and left other retailers at risk of being cut off by Energizer, the largest U.S. disposable battery maker, if they charged less than Walmart, the world's largest retailer.
"They said it also led to higher prices at checkout from Energizer and Berkshire Hathaway-owned Duracell, which account for 85% of U.S. battery sales.
"According to the complaints, 24-packs of Energizer Max Alkaline AAA batteries sold at Walmart for an average $16.24 in the summer of 2019, about one-third higher than a year earlier."