On 26 March 2015, the CAA opened an investigation into suspected breaches of competition law concerning access to
facilities for airport car parking operators in the UK. The investigation is being conducted under both Chapter I and
Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998.
The CAA found that East Midlands International Airport Ltd, its parent company the Manchester Airports Group
Plc (EMIA), and Prestige Parking Ltd infringed Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 by agreeing to fix
parking prices at EMIA, supported by an information exchange and monitoring.
The agreement was implemented as a condition of EMIA granting Prestige Parking Ltd a lease and concession to provide
car parking facilities at the airport between October 2007 and September 2012. As part of the agreement, the parties
agreed that Prestige would only sell its car parking services to consumers for at least the same price as EMIA’s own
car parking prices.
The Competition Act 1998 prohibits agreements that may have a damaging effect on competition and it is not
appropriate for either airports to interfere with the pricing of services provided by third parties.
The CAA followed a streamlined procedure with the agreement of the parties.
The CAA published a non-confidential copy of its decision (CAP 1507), and a press release summarising the process.
In June 2017 the CAA decided to close the Chapter II on grounds of administrative priority.
In December 2016 the CAA also concluded
a review of market conditions for
surface access at UK airports and issued an
advisory letter setting out some concerns identified by the review. The letter
encouraged all market participants to review their practices and ensure they
are compliant with competition and consumer law.
Information about the CAA’s Competition Act powers and investigation procedures is available on its web site.
The CAA decided to close the Chapter II element of the investigation on the grounds of administrative priority. The suspected abuse of dominant position was in relation to the upstream market for the provision of access to facilities at East Midlands International Airport, where the airport operator was suspected of distorting competition conditions in the downstream market - the provision of car parking services at the airport. This does not mean that the CAA has reached a view on whether there was been an infringement of the Chapter II prohibition of the act.
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