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High Court finds Heathrow Airport Limited to have abused its dominant position


On 15 April the High Court (Mr Justice Mann) gave judgment for the Claimants in (1) Purple Parking Limited (2) Meteor Parking Limited v Heathrow Airport Limited, holding that Heathrow Airport Limited had abused its dominant position by the compulsory relocation of the Claimants' ‘meet and greet' (or ‘valet parking') businesses from the forecourts at Terminals 1 and 3 to the short stay car parks, whilst allowing Heathrow's own valet parking operations to remain in their existing trading locations.

The Court held that Heathrow had infringed section 18 of the Competition Act 1998 in unlawfully discriminating as between its own meet and greet operation and that of the Claimants.

The Judge found that Heathrow's conduct had been commercially motivated and that Heathrow's proposed relocations were not objectively justified by considerations of congestion, public safety, security or the environment.

The Judge rejected Heathrow's submission that it was necessary to show an elimination of competition in the downstream meet and greet market; it was sufficient to demonstrate that competition would be distorted or hampered to the prejudice of consumers.

The judgment is here.

Alan Maclean QC and Richard Blakeley acted for the Claimants.

Sarah Ford acted for the Defendant.