High Court rules in favour of Heathrow Meet and Greet operators
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
A High Court judge has this week ruled that Heathrow Airport Ltd abused its dominant position by relegating other Heathrow Meet and Greet companies to poor positions around the airport.
On 15th April, Mr Justice Mann of the High Court ruled in favour of Meet and Greet parking firms Purple Parking Ltd and Meteor Parking Ltd in a case brought against Heathrow Airport Ltd.
According to Meet and Greet Heathrow operators, Heathrow Airport Ltd had abused its position of power by relegating other Meet and Greet businesses to the short stay car parks and other disadvantaged locations around the airport.
Heathrow Airport Ltd’s own Meet and Greet parking business, meanwhile, was allowed to occupy prime spots on the forecourts of all main terminals.
In the case, the Judge ruled that Heathrow Airport Ltd had infringed section 18 of the Competition Act 1998 by unlawfully discriminating between its own Heathrow Meet and Greet operation and that of its competitors.
It also concluded that the airport’s actions had been commercially motivated and its attempts to move competitors to other locations were not justified by considerations of congestion, public safety, security or the environment.
The Judge went on to reject Heathrow's claim that its position had made it necessary to show an elimination of competition, ruling that its actions would prejudice customers unfairly against other Meet and Greet businesses.
The case is being viewed as a landmark ruling for Meet and Greet operators at airports around the UK, as it may signal an end to airport owners and operators monopolising airport parking operations.
As other Meet and Greet brands are often able to provide a better service for less, the fact that they will be able to compete on a level playing field future can only be viewed as positive news.