JD Sports fury as regulators order chain to sell Footasylum

JD Sports has reacted angrily after a final ruling from the competition watchdog that it must sell the Footasylum chain bought for £90m in 2019.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed its decision following a protracted investigation that saw JD appeal an original finding that it must offload the sportswear brand over fears it could lead to a worse deal for shoppers.

JD said on Thursday that the latest ruling “defied logic” and it was considering its options.

The CMA had been ordered to look at the issue again after criticism from a competition appeals tribunal that it had failed to take the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic into account – shifting consumer purchases online and even direct from manufacturers.

The regulator said: “Over the course of its inquiry, the CMA found that JD Sports is by far and away the closest alternative for shoppers at Footasylum.

“The CMA expects this will continue to be the case even after taking into account the continued growth in online shopping, including on the websites and apps of brands such as Nike and adidas.”

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