JD Sports fined more than £1.4m for fixing replica football kits prices
JD Sports, Elite Sports and Rangers FC have been handed fines totalling more than £2m after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found they fixed the prices of replica football kits.
The CMA said Elite Sports and JD Sports broke the law by fixing retail prices of the Rangers-branded kits and other clothing items from September 2018 to July 2019. It added that Rangers “also took part in the collusion”, but only in fixing the price of specific adult home short-sleeved shirts from September to mid-November in 2018.
The CMA added that all three worked together to stop JD Sports undercutting the retail price of the shirt on Elite’s Gers Online store.
The news comes after JD Sports and Footasylum were fined almost £5m in February after breaching the rules around a merger blocked by the (CMA).
Elite Sports has been fined £459,000, JD Sports £1.485m and Rangers £225,000.
The penalties include a settlement discount, reflecting resource savings to the CMA as a result of all three parties admitting to acting illegally and helping bring a swifter resolution to the investigation.
Elite Sports’ and JD Sports’ penalties also include a discount for coming forward with information about their participation in the illegal conduct and cooperating with the investigation under the CMA’s Leniency Programme.
Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, said: “at a time when many people are worried about the rising cost of living, it is important that football fans are able to benefit from competitively priced merchandise.
The regulator first began an investigation in December 2020.
A JD Sports statement said: “JD has co-operated fully with the CMA throughout this investigation, including taking swift steps to apply for leniency and agreeing to settle the investigation.
“As a consequence, the CMA has applied a substantial discount in determining its final penalty of £1.485m. In accordance with the CMA’s standard terms of settlement, JD will not be appealing against this penalty.
“No directors or senior management of JD were involved in the offending conduct, which took place in 2018-2019.”
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