CMA to reconsider JD Sports – Footasylum merger

CMA to reconsider JD Sports – Footasylum merger

On 13 November 2020, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) quashed the CMA’s decision to undo the JD Sports/Footasylum merger, concluding that the CMA did not sufficiently consider the implications of the pandemic in its decision. Resultantly, the case has been remitted to the CMA for reconsideration.

The CMA first announced its decision to block the merger in May 2020, stating that the entities were close competitors and the merger would result in a substantial lessening of competition nationally. As a result, JD was required to divest Footasylum in full to a suitable purchaser. However, JD contested this decision, arguing that the CMA did not account for the impact of the pandemic and the potential detrimental impact this would have on Footasylum. (For more on this see Watchdog blocks JD Sport-Footasylum merger).

JD appealed the decision in the CMA’s final report on three grounds:

  1. The CMA erred in law and/or acted irrationally in: (i) applying its Merger Assessment Guidelines in determining whether any lessening of competition caused by the Merger was ‘substantial’ and; (ii) assessing the aggregate constraints on the merged entity posed by suppliers and retail rivals, currently and in the future
  2. The CMA erred in law and/or acted irrationally in: (i) excluding from the

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