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JD Sports reacts to CMA review of Footasylum acquisition

JD Sports Fashion has issued a statement in which it questions the findings of the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) in which it has declared there to be competition concerns regarding the group's acquisition of Footasylum Limited.

It is the view of the group that the CMA's provisional findings do not reflect the intensive and dynamic competitive reality of the UK sports retail market in which a large number of retailers selling third-party brands compete not only with each other, but also with major online pure-players and, most importantly, the increasingly powerful direct to consumer (DTC) operations of the international brands themselves. The CMA, it says, has failed to recognise and accept clear evidence of the rapidly changing nature of this market, which has materially altered even during the period of the CMA's review.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion Plc, commented: "The CMA's provisional decision is fundamentally flawed and demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of our market to an alarming extent, given its six-month review. The competitive landscape described by the CMA is one which neither I nor any experienced sector analyst, would recognise. Just take a walk down any major UK high street or search for Nike or Adidas trainers on Google and you can see for yourself how competitive this market really is."

"When the Group made its offer in March 2019, it was our intention to support Footasylum and its employees to grow the business and increase the quality, range and choice of products available to customers. We remain convinced that a combination of the two businesses would provide significant long-term benefits to customers, colleagues, and brand partners while maintaining Footasylum's presence on the high street as the music-inspired casual retailer which it is today."

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