The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued an interim order against the proposed £90m takeover of Footasylum by JD Sports, halting any further talks between the two companies until the watchdog’s investigation has been completed.
Following the announcement of the deal back in March, the CMA launched an investigation citing “reasonable grounds” for suspecting that it may be the case that JD Sports and Footasylum have “ceased to be distinct”.
Marking the order, the CMA stated that it “wishes to ensure that no action is taken pending final determination of the reference which might prejudice the reference or impede the taking of any action by the CMA”.
The latest decision follows JD Sports’ comments in October where it revealed it “strongly disagrees” with the CMA’s position that the proposed £90m takeover of Footasylum would be “bad for customers”.
JD said it had “carefully considered” the watchdog’s observations, but “firmly believes” there is clear evidence that the acquisition “would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the relevant clothing and footwear retail markets where the two businesses operate”.