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JD Sports faces £2m fine for price-fixing of football kits

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JD is accused of raising the price of Rangers shirts from £55 to £60, as well as coordinating the timing of discounts to avoid competition.  (PA Wire)
JD is accused of raising the price of Rangers shirts from £55 to £60, as well as coordinating the timing of discounts to avoid competition. (PA Wire)

JD Sports is set be fined up to £2 million by the Competition and Markets Authority over price-fixing of Rangers replica kits.

The CMA alleges JD agreed to raise the prices of the Scottish club’s strips after reaching “an understanding” with Rangers and the shirt’s manufacturers, Elite Sports, between September 2018 and July 2019.

JD is accused of raising the price of Rangers shirts from £55 to £60, as well as coordinating the timing of discounts “to avoid competition between them and protect their profit margins.”

Michael Grenfell, CMA executive director of enforcement, said: “We are concerned that, in this case, Elite, JD Sports and, to some extent, Rangers, may have colluded to keep prices high, so that the two retailers could pocket more money for themselves at the expense of fans.”

JD confirmed it had received a draft penalty notice from the CMA and said it would add a £2 million provision for the fine in its financial statements.

It’s the latest debacle for JD Sports. Executive chairman Peter Cowgill quit the company in May after it was fined £4.3 million by the CMA over reports of covert meetings between Cowgill and Footasylum boss Barry Bown while the watchdog was investigating a proposed merger between the firms. The CMA had issued an interim order while investigating the merger, prohibiting members of the companies from exchanging commercial information.

Interim chair Helen Ashton said: “The board is committed to ensuring that we have the highest standards of corporate governance and controls appropriate to a FTSE-100 company to support future growth.”

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