The UK’s competition watchdog has blocked retailer JD Sports from taking over rival Footasylum, saying the purchase would leave shoppers worse off.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the £90m deal would leave shoppers with fewer discounts and lower quality customer service.
JD Sports hit back, saying it “fundamentally disagrees” with the CMA.
The retailer said the watchdog had not properly taken account of the market.
It also warned that the impact of the Covid-19 crisis would have a particularly detrimental effect on smaller retailers such as Footasylum.
JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We fundamentally disagree with the CMA’s decision, which continues to rely on an inaccurate and outdated analysis of the UK sports retail competitive landscape, and is underpinned by outdated and flawed customer surveys.”
JD said it was considering an appeal and that, in the context of the coronavirus-driven pressures on retailers, the decision put the future of Footasylum at risk.