CAT 17
1 Oct 2004
Judgment on the liability aspects of appeals brought by JJB Sports PLC (“JJB”) and Allsports Limited (“Allsports”) against a decision of the OFT that JJB and Allsports, together with other undertakings, had infringed the Chapter I prohibition contained in section 2 of the Competition Act 1998 by entering into certain agreements and concerted practices designed to fix the prices of certain replica football shirts during 2000 and 2001.
The Tribunal dismissed the appeal on liability brought by Allsports in its entirety and partly allowed the appeal on liability brought by JJB. The Tribunal found that JJB and Allsports, respectively, were party to agreements or concerted practices contrary to the Chapter I prohibition having as their object or effect the maintenance of retail prices of the England replica shirt in the period immediately prior to the Euro 2000 football tournament and of the Manchester United home shirt launched on 1 August 2000. The Tribunal further found that JJB was party to an agreement or concerted practice contrary to the Chapter I prohibition having as its object or effect the maintenance of retail prices of the Manchester United Centenary shirt from its launch on 20 July 2001 until the OFT conducted “dawn raids” at the end of August 2001.
This was the first judgment dealing with a cartel case. It provides detailed guidance on the standard required to discharge the burden on the OFT of proving an infringement and on the law relating to agreements and concerted practices.
This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.