The UK competition watchdog’s decision to block a takeover of Footasylum by rival retailer JD Sports has been overturned by the Competition Appeals Tribunal.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) previously halted the £90 million deal, warning it could lead to higher prices. However, the tribunal said the regulator acted “irrationally” in not following up on inquiries with suppliers and failed to properly assess the likely impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in its decision. The CMA said “we are disappointed that the tribunal disagreed” with its approach.