The OFT accuses three major department stores of price fixing

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has accused Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser of colluding with DB Apparel UK to fix the price of its’ Shock Absorber range of sports bras. The manufacturer and department stores are accused of retail price maintenance which is where the supplier specifies a price for their product, and the retailer agrees to it. At the time the investigation was carried out, the Shock Absorber range accounted for 15% of the sports bra market.  The agency said that the anti-competitive agreements were made from 2008 to 2011. DB Apparel have rejected the OFT allegations while the retailers said they were confident they had not broken the law. All three department stores have stated that they are co-operating fully with the Office of Fair Trading and will respond in due course. Ann Pope, senior director of services, infrastructure and public markets at the OFT said “No assumption should be made at this stage that there has been an infringement of competition law. We will carefully consider the parties’ representations… before deciding whether competition law has in fact been infringed.” The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with competition law solicitors in Bath and across the country.