The Competition and Markets Authority has decided that JD Sports should not be allowed to buy rival chain Footasylum, lest they go mad and double the prices and only sell ancient Reeboks sourced from charity shops and there's nothing anyone can do to stop them.
The CMA believes the problem is that there's an accidental duopoly when it comes to buying bouncy shoes on the high street, as a CMA survey found that more than two thirds of Footasylum's customers would only shop around straight to the nearest JD Sports when looking for the right type of Nike at the right price; so a combination of the two would take away even that token-effort of price comparison.
Kip Meek from the CMA inquiry group said: " Our investigation analysed a large body of evidence that shows JD Sports and Footasylum are close competitors. This deal would mean the removal of a direct competitor from the market, leaving customers worse off. Based on the evidence we have seen, blocking the deal is the only way to ensure they are protected."
JD Sports says the CMA is using "inaccurate and outdated analysis" to form its judgement, but there doesn't seem to be much it can do about it; and industry experts believe this could spell the end for Footasylum altogether, as who wants to buy a high street business now? [GOV via BBC]