JD Sports received a fine of almost £1.5mn for fixing the price of Rangers Football club replica shirts and other merchandise, along with another company Elite Sports and Rangers.
The UK competition regulator on Tuesday levied fines of £2mn against the three companies as a result of its investigation, having published a draft penalty notice in June.
The probe is one of two Competition and Markets Authority investigations into JD Sports over football shirt prices.
The CMA said on Tuesday that JD and Elite had broken competition law by fixing the retail prices of a number of Rangers-branded replica kits and other clothing products from September 2018 until July 2019. JD was fined £1.49mn and Elite was hit with a £459,000 penalty.
Rangers FC also took part in the alleged collusion, but specifically in relation to fixing the retail price of adult short-sleeved home replica shirts, between September 2018 to mid-November 2018.
The three groups sought to stop JD Sports undercutting the retail price of the shirt on Elite’s Gers Online store. Rangers was fined £225,000. The CMA said the penalties were discounted because the three groups admitted to acting illegally.
“At a time when many people are worried about the rising cost of living, it is important that football fans are able to benefit from competitively priced merchandise,” said Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA. “Instead, Elite, JD Sports and, to some extent, Rangers, worked together to keep prices high.”
The competition regulator is also looking at whether Leicester City Football club and JD Sports broke competition law in relation to the sale of Leicester City-branded kits and merchandise, together with their affiliates. It has not yet reached a conclusion.