Feb 11, 2020

JD Sports may be forced to sell Footasylum after CMA probe

JD Sports may be forced to sell Footasylum, the sportswear chain it bought last year, after a probe by the UK competition regulator found the deal "Substantially lessens competition nationally". "We're currently concerned that shoppers could lose out after the merger, for example through fewer discounts and less choice in stores and online," said Kip Meek, chair of the CMA's independent inquiry group, which led the investigation "This could particularly affect younger customers and students, who shop in JD Sports and Footasylum." As a result of the findings, which remain provisional for now, the watchdog said that blocking the deal by requiring JD Sports to sell Footasylum in its entirety "May be the only way of addressing these competition concerns". JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill rejected the CMA's findings as "Fundamentally flawed" and said they demonstrate "a complete misunderstanding of our market to an alarming extent". JD Sports has until March 3 to give its views on the findings.

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