February 11, 2020 / 7:20 AM / 14 days ago

Watchdog says JDSports/Footasylum merger may leave shoppers worse off

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday it believed a takeover of sports retailer Footasylum by JD Sports could leave shoppers worse off, and forcing a sale of the business might be the only way to protect consumer interests.

The watchdog said it was concerned that the loss of high street competition resulting from the merger could mean shoppers see fewer discounts from clearance sales and promotions, a lower quality of customer service and less choice in stores and online.

The CMA said it would ask for views on its provisional findings by March 3 and possible remedies by 25 February and will assess all evidence provided before making a final decision. The deadline for its final report has been extended to May 11. (Reporting By Sinead Cruise, editing by Clara Denina)

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