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JD Sports has been fined in the UK for a banned deal with Footasylum

JD Sports Fashion Plc was fined £ 4.3 million ($ 5.8 million) after British merger oversight said the retailer violated privacy rules during a veto of Footasylum’s bid.

The Office of Competition and Markets said Monday that two sports retailers have failed to establish sufficient safeguards to avoid sharing commercially confidential information.

The CMA said that in meetings between JD CEO Peter Cowgill and Footasylum colleague Barry Bone, they discussed Footasylum’s problems with stock distribution, financial performance and plans to close stores, showing at least two locations.

“There’s a black hole when it comes to meetings between Footasylum and JD Sports,” said Kip Mick, chairman of the CMA investigation team investigating the merger. “Both CEOs can’t recall the important details of these meetings.”

The CMA ordered JD Sports to sell smaller competitor Footasylum in November to address competition and protect consumers following the initial blocking of the £ 90 million merger in May 2020. A few days later, JD Sports responded to reports of Cowgill’s meeting with Bone in a car park in Greater Manchester, saying the occasional meeting of the two is not unusual, suspicious or illegal.

JD denies intentional wrongdoing

JD Sports, (№ 24 in Art 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Europe 500) said Monday that although it “inadvertently” received some commercially confidential information and did not report it to the CMA immediately, the company denies that any records were intentionally deleted. The company has transferred all relevant devices to a third party for forensic examination.

“JD has always acted honestly and conscientiously, striving to carry out orders and responding to CMA requests,” the company said. Failed to immediately get comment in Footasylum.

For non-compliance with the guarantees, JD Sports must pay 2.5 million pounds, and Footasylum – 200,000 pounds, according to a statement from the CMA. For the exchange of commercially confidential information and refusal to warn the CMA, JD Sports must pay 1.8 million pounds, and Footasylum – 180,000 pounds.

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https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/02/15/jd-sports-hit-by-fine-in-the-uk-over-its-banned-footasylum-deal/ JD Sports has been fined in the UK for a banned deal with Footasylum

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