JD Sports planned £90m takeover of struggling footwear firm Footasylum has been halted by an ongoing investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The competition watchdog has issued an interim order against the sports fashion retailer proceeding any further with its takeover of Footasylum pending the conclusion of the second phase of its ongoing investigation into the deal.

The CMA said in its latest ruling that it “wishes to ensure no action is taken pending final determination of the reference which might prejudice or impede the taking of any action by the CMA.”

The CMA began its inquiry into JD Sports’ swoop on Footasylum in May, but pressure on the proposed deal was ratcheted up in October when the competition watchdog warned that the deal could “result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the UK for goods or services.”

This sentiment was echoed by JD Sports rival Sports Direct, who said that a Footasylum takeover would “likely to have wider market implications beyond this transaction, as they appear to highlight the power of the ‘must-have’ brands and potential market-wide practices aimed at controlling the supply and, ultimately, the pricing of their products.”

Footasylum, which made its stock market debut in late 2017, has recorded torrid trading in the intervening period prior to its deal wit JD Sports which saw the footwear retailer issue multiple profit warnings as its margins were hit by discounting to drive sales.