RNS Number : 5719B

JD Sports Fashion Plc

14 February 2022

14 February 2022

JD Sports Fashion Plc

Response to CMA Announcement

The Competition and Markets Authority ('CMA') has today imposed a penalty of GBP4.3 million on JD Sports Fashion PLC ('JD' or 'Group') for failure to comply in certain respects with an Interim Order issued by the CMA on 19 May 2021 (the 'Order') as part of the CMA's review of the Footasylum acquisition.

JD has been subject to hold separate measures in relation to Footasylum since May 2019 and balancing the obligations of separation and business stability over such a long period, which has also coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, has been complex and not without challenge. At no point has there been any intention to breach the rules although JD does accept that, inadvertently, it was in receipt of limited commercially sensitive information and that this was not reported to the CMA immediately.

However, JD believes that a number of the further conclusions which the CMA have drawn are either incorrect or have been presented in a misleading manner through the use of inflammatory language. In particular, JD notes that the CMA are suggesting, for the first time, that phone records have been deleted and, whilst JD accepts that some phone records were not available, it absolutely refutes any allegation that this was due to records being deliberately deleted. In this regard, JD can also confirm that it voluntarily submitted all of its relevant devices to a third party for expert forensic analysis.

JD would also point out the following:

   -- JD has always acted honestly and in good faith in its efforts to comply with the Order and in responding to 
      enquiries from the CMA, some of which related to events which took place eight months prior 
   -- JD has had market standard guidance in place which has been continually reviewed and updated 
   -- There was no prohibition on the CEOs meeting and, indeed, JD was actively required to retain the employment of 
      Footasylum's key employees during the period of the Order 
   -- There was no legal requirement in the Order for JD to either notify the CMA that a meeting had taken place or 
      take notes of these meetings 

Ultimately, JD does not believe that the description of events or the penalty that has been levied is a fair reflection of the Group's efforts to ensure compliance with the Order.

JD will now review the detail of the CMA's decision although the Group has already taken swift action to implement additional measures to strengthen its processes in this area which now go well beyond what is legally required by the CMA.

Separately, JD will continue to work constructively with the CMA on the process to divest Footasylum in line with the CMA's decision in November 2021.


JD Sports Fashion Plc Tel: 0161 767 1000

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman

Neil Greenhalgh, Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer Iveson, Investor Relations

MHP Communications Tel: 0203 128 8193

Andrew Jaques

Peter Hewer

Charles Hirst

Catherine Chapman

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 14, 2022 03:19 ET (08:19 GMT)

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