20 Jul 2018

Commerce Commission takes legal action against Wilson Parking

1:15 pm on 20 July 2018

New Zealand's largest parking provider is being taken to court after it began increasing prices in central Wellington.

Wilson Parking signage, Queen Street

Wilson Parking sign (file). Photo: RNZ / Calvin Samuel

The Commerce Commission has filed proceedings against Wilson Parking in the High Court, concerned that it substantially lessened competition after gaining the right to operate a second car park building in Wellington's Boulcott Street area.

In 2015, the commission granted clearance for Wilson Parking to acquire the lease for the Plimmer Towers car park on Boulcott Street, noting it did so there was a competitive constraint as a competitor operated the nearby Capital car park.

In June 2016, Wilson Parking acquired the long-term lease to operate the Capital car park. The commission said it did not apply for clearance to acquire the lease.

The commission began receiving complaints about price increases at the Capital car park early last year.

It said Wilson Parking's actions had substantially reduced car parking competition in the area and asked the court to fine the company, and to order it to give up the lease on the Capital car park.