JD Sports-Footasylum deal to face in-depth CMA probe

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday it has referred the completed acquisition by Bury-based JD Sports Fashion plc of Rochdale-based Footasylum plc for an in-depth investigation.

The CMA said it referred the case “on the basis that … it is or may be the case that this merger has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom.”

In March, JD Sports Fashion said it agreed to acquire Footasylum in a deal valued at up to £90.1 million.

JD Sports Fashion executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “The CMA has referred their review of this acquisition to Phase 2 on the basis that it could be bad for competition and may have an impact on price.

“I strongly disagree with this.

“This transaction will not result in any price increases or a reduction in product ranges or service quality.

“The focus of all of our group businesses is to ensure we deliver a best in class, multichannel experience to our consumers by offering a compelling product proposition.”