The Competition and Markets Authority has opened an investigation into "suspected anti-competitive arrangements" in the UK clothing, footwear and fashion sector.

In a short statement, the CMA said it would gather information, issuing formal or informal requests between now and September, on activities which may infringe chapter 1 of the Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

This could include market or customer sharing, agreements to restrict production or supply or bid rigging, as it looks to see if there is a case on possible anti-competitive behaviour and price fixing in the UK fashion and footwear industry.

The CMA said the case was at an early stage "and no assumption should be made that there has been an infringement of competition law".

The inquiry will be led by investigators Len Wassell and Helen Cameron and Stephen Blake, head of the CMA’s cartels and criminal group. A decision will be made in October whether it is to proceed with a full-scale investigation.


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