The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced today its decision to issue a Statement of Objections in a competition case relating to car parking at UK airports.  The Civil Aviation Authority assisted the CMA with this investigation.

Paul Smith, Director of Consumers and Markets, at the UK Civil Aviation Authority; said: “We welcome today's announcement. This investigation is a good example of competition authorities working together to crack down on anti-competitive agreements that risk disadvantaging consumers.

“It also reminds the airport industry and those managing airport parking to ensure that their commercial agreements are compliant with competition law.”

Following the CMA's announcement, we published an Open Letter to airport operators and other relevant parties reminding them of the importance of complying with competition law.

 

Notes to editors

The CMA provisionally found that the parties in this case (Heathrow and Arora) infringed competition law by participating in a signed, written agreement under which Arora agreed to a tenant's covenant which precluded it from charging customers, that were not guests at the hotel but wished to use the T5 Sofitel hotel car park, rates lower than those charged at Heathrow's car parks.

  1. The CMA provisionally found that the parties in this case (Heathrow and Arora) infringed competition law by participating in a signed, written agreement under which Arora agreed to a tenant's covenant which precluded it from charging customers, that were not guests at the hotel but wished to use the T5 Sofitel hotel car park, rates lower than those charged at Heathrow's car parks.
  2. Heathrow agreed to settle the case - i.e. it accepted that it had infringed competition law and to pay a £1.6m penalty. The CMA did not propose to impose a financial penalty on Arora. This is because Arora first came forward with relevant information that led to the opening of this investigation and, as such, has been granted immunity from penalties, in so far as it continues to fulfil the conditions of its leniency agreement with the CMA and the conditions set out in the CMA's leniency policy.
  3. The CMA has sent warning letters to other airports and hotel operators warning against similar anti-competitive agreements.