Sporting goods retailers JJB Sports and Sports Direct International have escaped prosecution after a year-long investigation by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The SFO said it would not be bringing charges against either company after looking into a suspected agreement to dampen competition in the sports retail market. However, it added that investigations into unnamed individuals would continue – something with which JJB said it would continue to co-operate fully.

The inquiry came to light in September last year after JJB said it had approached the SFO to request immunity related to a suspected breach of competition rules.

The period in question was from 8 June 2007 to 25 March 2009, while former JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie was at the helm of the company.