The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is poised to fine JD Sports for the illegal price-fixing of Rangers Football Club merchandise in 2018-19. It was found that JD Sports had colluded with both Rangers Football Club and Elite Sports to fix the retail price of certain adult replica home shirts. JD Sports had been selling for lower prices than Elite and had agreed to increase its prices in line with those charged by Elite on the football club’s website.
This new finding provides an explanation, in part, for the swift departure from JD Sports of its long-term executive chair Peter Cowgill.
JD is understood to have made a provision in its 2021-22 results for around £2m to settle the expected fine. The CMA said that JD and Elite will receive reduced financial penalties provided that they continue to cooperate with its investigation.