CMA launches Net-A-Porter merger inquiry

Emma Haslett
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The company is one of the UK's largest online retailers (Source: Getty)

Those on the frow* may consider themselves are the forefront of fashion - but it turns out the UK's competition regulator is the ultimate arbiter of style. The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised a question mark over the merger between it and Yoox, an Italian competitor.

The €1.3bn (£936m) merger between Net-a-Porter, the UK's largest online luxury retailer, and Yoox, Italy's answer to it, was confirmed in March, after Richemont, Net-a-Porter's owner said it had agreed an all-share merger between the two brands, which will collectively be known as the Yoox-Net-a-Porter Group, to be listed on Borsa Italiana.

Natalie Massenet, Net-a-Porter's style guru founder, has said the merger will create an "independent, neutral platform" for those buying luxury fashion.

But today the CMA launched an inquiry into the merger, saying it was considering whether a union between the pair may result in a "substantial lessening of competition" within its market, and calling for comments from "any interested party".

The organisation will make a decision over whether to pursue the investigation further on 7 September. Until then, we'll keep shopping.

* the front row at catwalk shows, obvs

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