The UK's Competition Commission (CC) has formally cleared the acquisition by Sports Direct of 31 stores from rival JJB Sports plc (JJB) following an inquiry.

The CC ruled that it did not expect the acquisitions to lead to a "substantial lessening of competition (SLC) nor any adverse effects for customers".

Chairman of the inquiry group and CC deputy chairman Diana Guy said: "We do not believe there will be higher prices or a reduction in quality and choice for consumers as a result of these store acquisitions.

"Sports Direct and JJB are undoubtedly each other's closest competitors nationally and this has not changed as a result of the transfer of a relatively small number of stores.

"What we have found is that the prices and range on offer in any individual Sports Direct store are not significantly affected by whether there is a nearby JJB store or not but, rather, depend on the degree of overall competition between the two retailers at the national level."

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the case to the CC for investigation on 7 August 2009 after an initial study raised competition concerns.