JD Sports and Elite breached Rangers FC goods price law, UK watchdog claims

A man walks past a poster of Rangers soccer club at their Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland December 19, 2012. REUTERS/David Moir/

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June 7 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports (JD.L) and rival Elite Sports have breached competition law by fixing the retail prices of certain Rangers Football Club branded clothing products , the British competition watchdog provisionally discovered on Tuesday.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in its interim findings, said the three parties would have agreed to prevent JD Sports from undercutting the retail price of the shirt on Elite’s online store in the Gers.

JD Sports said it was reviewing the AMC’s findings and set aside 2 million pounds ($2.50 million) in its financial statements for the year ending January for a potential fine and costs. legal.

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Shares of JD Sports, listed on the FTSE 100, fell 2% in morning trading.

JD Sports and Elite Sports have fixed retail prices for a number of Rangers-branded replica kits and other apparel products from September 2018 through at least July 2019, the AMC said.

“Rangers FC also took part in the alleged collusion, but only to the extent that they fixed the retail price of replica short-sleeved adult shirts from September 2018 until at least mid-November 2018,” said CMA in a press release.

CMA said Elite and JD sought leniency during the regulatory investigation and confessed to cartel activity. If the duo continues to cooperate with the investigation, each will get a reduction on any financial penalties the regulator may decide to impose, the regulator added.

Any company found guilty of violating the prohibitions of the relevant laws may be fined up to 10% of the group’s worldwide annual turnover.

Scotland-based Premiership and elite club Rangers FC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

JD Sports, which sells brands such as Nike (NKE.N), Adidas (ADSGn.DE) and Puma (PUMG.DE), also got into trouble with the CMA earlier this year in a separate case over its deal with footasylum. The two companies were fined a combined £4.7 million. Read more

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Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Ed Osmond

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