JD Sports probed by watchdog over Leicester City merchandise
JD Sports Fashion has become the subject of another Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation. This time it relates to the sale of merchandise linked to English Premiership football club Leicester City.
The investigation is about suspected infringements regarding anti-competitive agreements over the sale of club-branded products in the UK, the CMA said, adding it has ”reasonable grounds to suspect one or more breaches of competition law”, reports the BBC.
Both JD Sports Fashion and Leicester City said they were "fully cooperating" with the probe.
However, the CMA also admitted it hadn’t reached a view as to whether there is “sufficient evidence of an infringement of competition law for it to issue a statement of objections or, ultimately, an infringement decision, to any party under investigation.
“Not all cases result in the CMA issuing a statement of objections or an infringement decision”, it added.
The latest probe comes less than a year after the regulator launched an investigation into price fixing of replica Rangers football kits sold by JD Sports and other retailers. In December 2020, the CMA said it had reasonable grounds to suspect breaches of competition law. However, a decision on that case is still pending.
JD Sports is also awaiting a final decision from the competition watchdog over its takeover of footwear retailer Footasylum after the CMA was told to reassess its original decision to block the deal. A final decision is expected later this month. If unsuccessful, JD could be forced to sell the business it bought in 2019.
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