It’s alleged the company entered into nine anti-competitive agreements with John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser between 2008 and 2011 to inflate the retail prices of products in DBA’s Shock Absorber brand, which at the time had a 15 per cent share of the sports bra market.
“The OFT takes allegations of price fixing seriously,” Ann Pope, OFT senior director of services, says.
“Retail 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 before deciding whether competition law has in fact been infringed.”
A DB Apparel spokesperson told The Guardian newspaper: “We have been transparent with UK authorities since the beginning of this process and will continue to defend ourselves vigorously in this investigation.”
John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams also rejected the charges.
Any business found to have infringed the Competition Act 1998 could be fined up to 10 per cent of its annual worldwide turnover.