// JD Sports is set to appeal the CMA’s decision to block its acquisition of Footasylum
// The Competition Appeals Tribunal has yet to publish the summary of notice
JD Sports has said it will appeal against the CMA’s decision to block its acquisition of Footasylum, following an in-depth Phase II investigation.
The Competition Appeals Tribunal has yet to publish the summary of notice, which illustrates what grounds JD Sports is contesting the decision on.
However, lawyers anticipate that this will reiterate the criticisms that were raised during the inquiry.
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JD Sports said the CMA’s probe had relied on “an inaccurate and outdated analysis of the UK sports retail competitive landscape”.
Following an in-depth Phase II investigation, the CMA concluded in May that the takeover would lead to “a substantial lessening of competition”.
It said shoppers would be left with “fewer discounts or receiving lower quality customer service”.
In reaching this final decision, the CMA said it analysed a wide range of evidence looking at how closely JD Sports and Footasylum firms compete as well as competition from other retailers, and the constraint from suppliers like Nike and Adidas.
The CMA said evidence included more than 2000 of the companies’ own internal strategy and decision-making documents, which showed that JD Sports and Footasylum monitor each other’s activity closely.
As a result, the CMA said last month that it would require JD Sports to sell Footasylum to an independent bidder in order to avoid a lessening of competition in the market for high-end sports footwear in particular.
JD Sports said the watchdog had failed to take sufficient account of the impact of Covid-19 on Footasylum, which was already in financial difficulties last year.