EU gives Berlin two-month ultimatumon opening postal services

20th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 October 2004 , BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Wednesday gave the German government a two-month deadline to comply with European Union legislation on opening up its national postal services. Officials said the Commission - the European Union's executive arm - was prepared to take Berlin to the European Court of Justice if postal laws, which currently protect Deutsche Post from competition in the handling of pre-sorted mail, remained unchanged. "Germany has so far refused to amend the law in a sati

20 October 2004

BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Wednesday gave the German government a two-month deadline to comply with European Union legislation on opening up its national postal services.

Officials said the Commission - the European Union's executive arm - was prepared to take Berlin to the European Court of Justice if postal laws, which currently protect Deutsche Post from competition in the handling of pre-sorted mail, remained unchanged.
"Germany has so far refused to amend the law in a satisfactory manner. It now has two months to inform the Commission of the measures taken to comply with EU law," The Commission said.

The dispute centres on the German government's refusal to give competitors of Deutsche Post AG the right to earn price discounts for posting pre-sorted letters.

Under current German legislation, large senders are allowed to feed self-prepared mail directly into sorting centres - earning discounts for doing so.

Commercial firms that handle mail preparation services for others, however, are barred from discounts for mail preparation.

"The German postal law induces Deutsche Post to abuse its dominant position thereby putting commercial operators at a considerable competitive disadvantage," said European anti-trust chief Mario Monti.

"The Commission's action will establish a competitive level playing field for mail preparation firms," Monti added.

Opening up the sector would boost the volume of letters and direct mail, he said.

The commercial collection, sorting and franking of letters under 100 grams is currently exclusively guaranteed to Deutsche Post under postal laws.

The Commission, responding to a complaint by the German association of postal services providers said such a monopoly was in violation of EU competition laws.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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