JJB Sports PLC sought leave to appeal to the House of Lords on certain aspects of the Court of Appeal's judgment on the action taken against JJB by the Office of Fair Trading on the price-fixing of certain replica kit products during 2000 and 2001. JJB has now been advised by the Judicial Office of the House of Lords that its application for leave to appeal has been refused.
JJB continues to maintain that it did not “knowingly or willingly enter into any kind of price fixing arrangement,” and that the OFT's investigation and the subsequent proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal “produced a grave injustice.”
JJB believes that the case has left the law in some confusion regarding retailer/supplier relationships, and that the courts have gone too far in extending the potential scope of an indirect price fixing agreement or concerted practice.
The Board of JJB is now left with no alternative other than to make a full provision in its accounts for the amount of the penalty. The amount of the penalty imposed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal together with interest thereon, will be approximately £7.7 million ($15 mm) at 28 January 2007, which compares to JJB's provisions of £3.9 million ($7.7 mm) in its accounts at 29 January 2006; therefore an increase in provisions of £3.8 million ($7.5 mm)will be made in JJB's accounts for the 52 weeks ended 28 January 2007.