SharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Getty ImagesThe UK’s competition watchdog has ordered JD Sports to sell Footasylum over concerns the takeover could lead to a “worse deal” for customers.The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that JD Sports was the closest alternative for Footasylum shoppers.In a statement, it said a sale was “the only way to address its competition concerns and protect consumers”.But JD Sports criticised the move, calling the decision “inexplicable”.It follows an in-depth investigation by the competition watchdog after it first blocked the £90m takeover last year.JD Sports appealed against a ruling by the CMA in September, saying it was “perplexed” by its decision not to include online sales by Nike and Adidas in the UK in its review.JD Sports boss rejects criticism of £4.3m bonusBrexit worse than feared, says JD Sports boss In an update on Thursday, the CMA found that the takeover of Footasylum would reduce competition even after taking into account the growth in online shopping.Half of online shoppers surveyed by the competition watchdog said that they would go to JD Sports if they were unable to purchase their usual trainers or joggers at Footasylum.Investigators also insisted that Footasylum would “remain in good financial health” even if it was not owned by JD Sports, Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer, despite increased competition from other companies.Total revenues for Footasylum for the 2020 financial year were £232m, with underlying pre-tax profits of £29.3m, up from £3.8m from a year before.’Shoppers could suffer’Kip Meek, chair of the CMA inquiry group, said: “The UK boasts a thriving sports fashion market and today’s decision reflects our commitment to keeping it that way.”We strongly believe shoppers could suffer if Footasylum stopped having to compete with JD Sports. It is likely they would pay more for less choice, worse service and lower quality.”It added that the rivals can continue to compete for shoppers online and as they return to the High Street.