JD Sports faces price fixing probe

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced it will investigate JD Sports and several other parties on suspected price fixing for Rangers FC football jerseys.

The CMA’s investigation relates to suspected infringement(s) of Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 (CA98).

The authority’s issued statement has detailed its provisional findings that retailers JD Sports, Elite Sports, and Rangers Football Club broke competition law by fixing the retail prices of certain Rangers-branded clothing products.

In the case file, the CMA states it has provisionally found that Elite and JD Sports fixed retail prices of Rangers-branded replica kits and other clothing products and found that Rangers participated in the alleged collusion to the extent of fixing the retail price of adult home short sleeved replica shirts.

The CMA’s findings allege that Rangers FC became concerned at the start of the 2018-19 football season that JD Sports was selling the Rangers replica top at a lower price than Elite, which was seen at the time as the club’s ‘retail partner’.

The concerns led to an understanding between the three parties that JD Sports would increase its retail price of the Rangers adult short-sleeved home replica shirt by nearly 10 per cent - from £55 to £60 - to bring it in line with the prices being charged by Elite.

The case’s timetable will unfold up to December 2022 for receipt and consideration of representations on the statement of objections.

If confirmed, the relevant parties can expect to face fines.

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