Pik Facilities v Watson's Ayr Park [2005] ScotCS CSOH 132

Judgment (about 20 pages) of the Scottish Court of Session in a dispute between Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Watson's Ayr Park, a provider of off-airport parking services. The airport's owners were granted interdict (an injunction) against the unauthorised operation of a shuttle bus by Watson's Ayr Park to carry its customers to and from the airport's terminal. The second half of the judgment reports the arguments made by the parties in connection with a defence advanced by Watson's Ayr Park based on a claim that preventing third-party access would amount to an abuse of a dominant position under the Competition Act 1998. The airport's case draws heavily on the ECJ judgments in Bronner and IMS Health.

The judge rejected this competition law defence, primarily on the grounds that Watson's Ayr Park had not made a "distinct averment in clear and precise terms of the relevant market": it had merely referred to "the market for car parking at the airport", and alleged that the airport was a "dominant supplier of an essential input or facility" without identifying the relevant market served by that input or facility. The judge also took the view that refusing access to the road immediately outside the terminal would not prevent off-airport parking operators from competing in markets for car park services, as they could drop passengers at a neighbouring bus stop. The arguments do not appear to draw attention to the fact that Watson's Ayr Parks had been operating shuttle buses to the airport terminal for more than three years, whereas most of the authorities cited relate to the provision of new services or new forms of access.

Filed under UK courts.

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