Competition rules in the postal sector
The Commission has issued a Notice in which it sets
out its approach in attempting to ensure a "level playing field" in
postal services in the Community. The Notice complements the recent
framework Directive on liberalising the postal services.
- Market definition
Collection, sorting, transport and delivery of mail are essentially
separate activities which are combined in the monopoly service in
many Member States.
Monopoly postal operators with the sole right to distribute items
reserved by Member States (in order to maintain a universal service
for all) are by definition in a dominant position as defined by
Article 86 of the Treaty. They must not therefore hinder rivals
from competing fairly in the non-reserved postal segments.
Cross-subsidisation will not be allowed in order to prevent
monopoly holders from undercutting competitors' prices. Transparent
accounting methods will have to be used.
- Cross-border mail
The maintenance of any exclusive or special rights for postal
operators must be justified under the EC Treaty.
National regulators must be independent and not at the same time
provide postal services in competition with rival private