Sport & Leisure

JD Sports set to concede to watchdog in Footasylum battle

It comes after JD sports first agreed a £90m deal to acquire Footasylum in March 2019

The trainer and sportswear retailer JD Sports looks set to concede defeat in its battle with the takeover watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over its attempt to buy Footasylum

According to reports first revealed by the Sunday Times, the deadline for the retailer to appeal the CMA’s decision to block the takeover passed earlier this month, and while it can request an extension the paper said the chances of this have “diminished”.

The news comes after the CMA blocked the merger on the grounds that it could lead to a “worse deal” for shoppers. The watchdog also previously moved against the deal in May 2020, to which the retailer appealed to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which remitted the case back to the CMA for reconsideration.

Having reviewed the case again, the CMA said it believed the merger could lead to customers finding themselves facing higher prices, fewer discounts and less choice of products in store. It could also result in the merged company investing less in improvements to customer service.

It comes after JD sports first agreed a £90m deal to acquire Footasylum in March 2019.

At the time, Kip Meek, chair of the group conducting this inquiry, said: “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 response, Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion stated that he was “perplexed and again disappointed” that the merger had been rejected.

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