A method of performing transactions in accordance with fairness criteria is provided wherein one of a plurality of entities initiates a transaction on an object at a database. The steps or operations of the initiated transaction are immediately processed up to the transaction ownership step. Propagation delays are determined between the database and at least some of the other entities that are capable of initiating transactions to the database. The propagation delays and a fairness criteria is used to determine the fair propagation delay period. Upon determining that the fair propagation delay period has been exceeded, it is detecting whether any of the other entities initiated a transaction on the same object during the fair propagation delay time period. If not, then the transaction initiating entity performs the transaction ownership step on the initiated transaction.