Sep 2, 2021

JD Sports dealt fresh blow over Footasylum deal

The UK's competition regulator has again signalled it will block the purchase by JD Sports of its smaller rival Footasylum, despite parts of its original conclusion being rejected as flawed by an appeal tribunal. "Since our original inquiry, we have gathered a significant amount of additional evidence, including on the impact of coronavirus, and we still have concerns about JD Sports' takeover of Footasylum," said Kip Meek, chair of the group conducting the CMA's review. "This deal would see Footasylum bought by its closest competitor and, as a result, shoppers could face higher prices, less choice and a worse shopping experience overall." In its report, the CMA agreed that the sportswear manufacturers had increased their direct-to-consumer offerings and that this had made Footasylum a weaker competitor to JD Sports. It argued that JD Sports remained the most significant competitor in the eyes of Footasylum customers and that combining the two chains would lead to a substantial lessening of competition, to the potential detriment of consumers.

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