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Sports Direct urges review of Nike-Adidas dominance in UK, Europe

Sports Direct International PLC is requesting a wide market review of Nike Inc. and Adidas AG's dominance in the athletic wear segment in both the U.K. and Europe, according to an Oct. 14 release.

The British sportswear retailer's statement follows a report by the Sunday Times (London) that Nike will no longer supply its products to independent retailers by 2021 because their sales methods were "no longer aligned" with its own strategy. The report also noted concerns that Adidas may follow suit, given that the combined global sales of both companies reached £50 billion in 2018.

Sports Direct said the dominance of the two brands hold an "extremely strong bargaining position" over retailers with practices that aim to control the supply and pricing of their products. It also said Nike and Adidas have the power to restrict the product range that retailers can offer or refuse.

In an email to S&P Global Market Intelligence, a Nike spokesperson said that they are continuing to "evaluate the marketplace and competitive landscape" in order to better serve their customers.

"As part of this, from time to time we do make adjustments to our sales channels in order to optimize distribution," the spokesperson said.

Adidas did not immediately respond to Market Intelligence's requests for comment.