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Leicester City FC fined by UK Competition Authority: Key learnings for sports organisations

Football on goal line
Thursday, 17 August 2023 By Alexandra Kamerling, Alistair White

On 31 July 2023, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued an infringement decision finding that Leicester City FC colluded with JD Sports to restrict competition in the sales of Leicester City-branded clothing, including replica kit, over the course of 2018 to 2021.

Both parties admitted the infringements, with Leicester City FC fined £880,000 for its conduct (reflecting a discount of up to 20% of the fine which would otherwise have been imposed due to its participation in the CMA’s settlement procedure). JD Sports avoided a fine under the CMA’s leniency programme by reporting the breaches.

More specifically, the investigation related to market sharing and price fixing arrangements whereby JD Sports either stopped selling Leicester City-branded clothing online or altered its company-wide terms of sale such that fans were required to pay for delivery charges on the goods in question.

This article discusses a few key learnings for sports organisations from this case.

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Written by

Alexandra Kamerling

Alexandra Kamerling

Alexandra Kamerling is a partner at DLA Piper and handles EU and UK merger filings and foreign investment/national security filings, coordinating multi-jurisdictional merger these filings across the globe, as well as advising on EU and UK market investigations, abuse of dominance, distribution and licensing agreements and strategies, behavioural advice, sustainability projects, state aid/state subsidy, cartels (dawn raids) and immunity applications.

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Alistair White

Alistair White

Alistair is a senior associate at DLA Piper. He has wide experience advising multinationals and UK businesses in relation to merger control and other investment control notifications, including national security and foreign direct investment. He also advises on the behavioural aspects of competition law, including compliance matters, and on regulatory investigations and related litigation. 

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