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OFT ends sportswear cartel inquiry

JJB Sports and Sports Direct have been told by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that its inquiry into possible price fixing by sportswear retailers has been provisionally closed.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

OFT ends sportswear cartel inquiry

The inquiry began in 2009 after JJB Sports raised concerns over a “suspected agreement or concerted practice to dampen competition in the sports retail market”.

THE OFT said it  will not decide until later this year if any laws were broken. A separate investigation by the Serious Fraud Office is ongoing.

Both companies issued statements following the announcement.

Keith Hellawell, chairman of Sports Direct, commented: “We welcome the announcement by the OFT. It is in line with Sports Direct’s long held views on the investigation. It is also consistent with previous decisions taken by other regulatory bodies.”

JJB was granted immunity by the OFT from any possible financial penalties in return for its full co-operation in the investigation.

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