JD Sports May Have To Sell Footasylum, Says CMA

Britain’s competition watchdog has announced it could force JD Sports to sell the Footasylum sportswear business https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/11/jd-sports-sell-footasylum-discounts it bought last year because consumers could lose out from the deal. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated it had provisionally found that last April’s £90 million (US$116.6 million) takeover “substantially lessens competition nationally.” It stated shoppers could get fewer discounts, receive a lower quality of customer service, and enjoy less choice in stores and online.

JD Sports, Britain’s biggest sports retailer, hit back at the competition watchdog in a strongly worded statement, claiming the CMA’s findings were “fundamentally flawed.” It vowed to fight them.

It claimed the competition regulator failed to recognise the rapidly changing nature of the UK sports retail market, where a large number of retailers selling third-party brands compete, as well as other online players and the international brands selling directly to customers.

The JD Sports executive chairman, Peter Cowgill, said, “The CMA’s provisional decision is fundamentally flawed and demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of our market to an alarming extent, given its six-month review.

“The competitive landscape described by the CMA is one which neither I, nor any experienced sector analyst, would recognise. Just take a walk down any major UK high street or search for Nike or Adidas trainers on Google and you can see for yourself how competitive this marketplace really is.”

Full Content: The Guardian

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