Sports bras RPM investigation

In June 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made a no grounds for action decision following a formal investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangements relating to sports bras RPM.

Case Reference: CE/9610-12

Case timetable

First published: 16 October 2012

Milestone  Date
Investigation opened April 2012 (actual)
Initial investigation: information gathering, including issuance of formal or informal information requests and parties’ responses April - July 2012 (actual)
- OFT analysis and review of parties’ responses to information requests - Issue of further information requests (if necessary) - Internal governance processes to decide investigation outcome June 2012 - February 2013 (actual)
Investigation outcome (issue of Statement of Objections; case closure - see Procedural Guidance) Statement of Objections issued on 20 September 2013 (actual)
Period for written representations on the Statement of Objections December 2013 (actual)
OFT/CMA consideration of parties’ written and oral representations on the Statement of Objections April to May 2014 (actual)
(i) Final decision on case outcome (whether there has been an infringement; case closure) if no further significant investigative/procedural steps necessary June 2014 (actual)


  • Changes to the timing of original entries in the case timetable will be made where the estimated timing in the original timetable changes.

Change log

The following changes have been made to the original estimates in the administrative timetable since it was first published in October 2012. original timetable

Date of change Reason for change Nature of change(s) made to timetable
February 2014  Extensions provided to parties to submit written representations and timing of oral representations delayed. Also, further investigative steps may potentially be required. Estimated timing of investigation outcome put back from March 2014 to September 2014 or March 2015 (see above)


Suspected breaches of competition law involving alleged bilateral resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements between DB Apparel UK Limited (DBA) and each of Debenhams Retail plc, House of Fraser (Stores) Limited, John Lewis plc (together ‘the Retailers’), relating to DBA’s Shock Absorber brand of sports bras.

Case closure summary


Team leader

Sarah Mills (

Project director

Gaucho Rasmussen (

Senior responsible officer

Ann Pope (

Published 18 June 2014