• 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.

    Title, case reference and sector Relevant legislation and case type Suspected infringement Start date
    Case Ref: CA98-001
    Sector: Airport Operation Services
    Case type: Relevant Legislation: Competition Act 1998 Chapter I and Chapter II Suspected price fixing and price information exchange in relation to access to facilities at an Airport.
    Suspected abuse of a dominant position in the upstream market for the provision of access to facilities at an Airport to distort conditions of competition in the downstream market for the provision of car parking services at an Airport
    26 March 2015

    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.

    Indicative case timetable

    Investigation opened 26 March 2015
    First decision point: to proceed with our investigation December 2015
    Initial evidence collection complete February 2015
    Secondary evidence collection complete April 2016
    Second decision point on (i) to proceed (ii) to close case on administrative priority grounds (iii) to move to a no grounds for action decision April 2016
    State of play meeting June 2016
    Investigation on Chapter I outcome (Issue of Statement of Objections) December 2016
    Decision in regard to Chapter I December 2016
    Decision to close the Chapter II element of the investigation on grounds of administrative priority June 2017 
  • 29 June 2016 The CAA revised its timetable.
    18 March 2016 Following evidence collection the CAA revised its timetable.
    25 June 2015 The CAA met with the target and complainant to discuss the provision of evidence. As a result of these meetings we have altered our administrative timetable to reflect a revised timeline.
    5 December 2016 The CAA issued statement of objections to East Midlands International Airport Ltd, its parent company the Manchester Airports Group Plc, and Prestige Parking Ltd. The Statement of Objections sets out the CAA concerns in regards to a suspected agreement to fix parking prices at East Midlands International Airport supported by an information exchange and monitoring being in breach of Chapter I.
    15 December 2016  The CAA found that East Midlands International Airport Ltd, its parent company the Manchester Airports Group Plc, and Prestige Parking Ltd infringed Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 by agreeing to fix parking prices at East Midlands International Airport, supported by an information exchange and monitoring. 
    14 June 2017

    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.