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Press releases 2002 -

OFT proposes to find that replica football kit prices have been fixed

PN 27/02    16 May 2002

The OFT proposes to make a decision that 11 companies have been fixing the price of Umbro replica football kits, infringing UK competition law.

The companies involved are: Umbro Holdings Limited, JJB Sports plc, John David Sports plc, Sports Soccer Limited, Allsports Limited, Blacks Leisure Group plc, Manchester United Football Club plc, Debenhams plc, Florence Clothiers (Scotland) Limited (trading as Sportsconnection), Sportsetail Limited and The Football Association Limited.

The OFT has today written to these companies setting out why it proposes to find that they entered into a number of agreements to fix the price of football kits manufactured and supplied by Umbro, infringing Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998.

The parties now have the opportunity to make oral and written representations in response to the OFT's proposed decision. These will be taken fully into account before any final decision is made.


1. Powers under the Competition Act 1998
The Act gives the Office of Fair Trading powers to investigate suspected infringements of the Act's prohibitions:

i) the Chapter I prohibition prohibits agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices which have the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the UK (or any part of it) and which may affect trade within the UK (or any part of it); and

ii) the Chapter II prohibition prohibits conduct by one or more undertakings which amounts to the abuse of a dominant position in a market which may affect trade within the UK (or any part of it).

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