Wilson Parking to divest car parks, pay $500k over anti-competitive behaviour

Wilson Parking New Zealand Limited has agreed to divest the leases of three parking facilities in central Wellington, and pay $500,000 towards Commerce Commission costs over anti-competitive behaviour.

The Commerce Commission filed proceedings in the High Court in 2018 following customer complaints that Wilson Parking had hiked prices at the Capital car park, which Wilson acquired in June 2016 without clearance from the Commission.

The commission alleged Wilson Parking substantially lessened competition for the supply of car parking in the Boulcott St area when it acquired the rights to operate the Capital car park.

“Wilson Parking’s acquisition removed one of the few alternatives for motorists wishing to park in this part of Wellington’s central city, which, in our view, was likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition” said Commission Chair, Anna Rawlings.

“The divestment of three car parking facilities in the Wellington central area will reintroduce a measure of competition and will mean that customers will have an alternative to Wilson Parking.

“Anti-competitive acquisitions are a priority area for the Commission and this is a reminder to businesses that if there is any doubt about the competition effects of a merger, they should seek clearance from us before completing the deal.”

The total number of parking bays being divested is 850. Capital car park comprises 659 of those parking bays.

Wilson Parking must divest the car parking leases to a purchaser(s) approved by the commission. It must also notify the commission of any proposed acquisitions of new car parks in Wellington central for the next five years.

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