The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser of pushing up the prices of sports bras following an investigation.
Last September the Office of Fair Trading, predecessor to the CMA, accused the retailers of entering anti-competitive agreements with sports bra brand DBApparel UK between 2008 and 2011.
The alleged agreements were intended to boost the retail prices of DBApparel’s Shock Absorber brand of sports bras, which held approximately 15% market share, in the department stores.
The CMA said on Friday that it had dropped the case.
Dr Philip Marsden, chair of the CMA’s case decision group, said: “The CMA treats allegations of resale price maintenance very seriously, as it may restrict competition and mean that consumers end up paying more than is necessary. However, having carefully reviewed the evidence in this case, including the parties’ representations, we have decided that there are no grounds for action by the CMA.”