Regulator alleges price fixing in sports bra market

A regulator has alleged price fixing in selling of Shock Absorber bras in UK department stores.

The Office for Fair Trading (OFT) today issued a Statement of Objections to a sports bra manufacturer for allegedly fixing the resale price of their Shock Absorber bras. (Release)

DB Apparel, the maker of Shock Absorber has, the OFT alleges, infringed competition law by entering into nine anti-competitive agreements with John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser between 2008 and 2011.

The agreements with the three department stores would see the prices of the bras increase. during the period in question, Shock Absorbers held 15 per cent of the market. The OFT fails to mention, however, that Shock Absorbers were not the only bras on the market and customers were not deceived when buying them.

Ann Pope, OFT Senior Director of Services, Infrastructure and Public Markets at the OFT, said:

Resale price maintenance limits competition between retailers and can lead to consumers paying higher prices.
No assumption should be made at this stage that there has been an infringement of competition law. We will carefully consider the parties' representations to the Statement of Objections before deciding whether competition law has in fact been infringed.