Leicester City and JD Sports merchandise sales survey

An investigation has been opened against Leicester City FC and retail giant JD Sports for the sale of club merchandise.

Britain’s watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), said it believed it had “reasonable grounds to suspect one or more competition law violations” by the parties.

He added that the investigation was directly linked to alleged breaches of trade agreement law relating to the sale of club-branded products and merchandise in the UK, reports the PA news agency.

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“The CMA has failed to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of an infringement of competition law for it to issue a statement of objections, or ultimately an infringement decision, to any party under investigation, ”the regulator added.

“Not all cases result in the issuance of a statement of objections or an infringement decision by the CMA.”

A Leicester City spokesperson said: “Leicester City Football Club takes its obligations to comply with competition law very seriously and is cooperating fully with the Competition and Markets Authority in connection with the investigation announced this morning.

“We will not be making any further statement regarding this investigation at this time.”

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A spokesperson for JD Sports added, “We are fully cooperating with the CMA investigation.

“We have no further comments at this time.”

The Leicester City and JD Sports investigation also comes less than a year after the regulator launched an investigation into the pricing of replica Rangers football kits sold by JD Sports and other retailers.

In December of last year, the CMA said it had reasonable grounds to suspect competition law violations.

JD Sports is also awaiting a final decision from the competition watchdog on its plan to buy out rival Footasylum after the CMA was asked to reassess its original decision to block the deal.

The CMA said earlier this month that it was still concerned about the decision following re-analysis, but a final decision is expected around October.