Heathrow and hospitality group Arora have admitted hotel airport car parking charges broke competition law.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) handed Heathrow a £1.6m fine. Arora escaped a penalty after being granted immunity by the CMA for bringing the matter to its attention under a “leniency programme”.
The breach relates to a 2005 lease between Heathrow and Arora, the operator of the Sofitel hotel at what is now Terminal 5.
The Sofitel has a car park that is open to hotel and non-hotel guests. The lease contained a provision that prevented Arora from charging non-hotel guests less than the charges Heathrow levied elsewhere at the airport. The CMA said such a provision was anti-competitive.
The regulator said it has issued letters to other airports and hotel operators warning against similar lease agreements.
Heathrow received a 20pc discount to what would otherwise have been a £2m fine having voluntarily entered into a settlement.