PostNL warns that competition rules could affect delivery in rural areas

(source: DutchNews.nl — 8 August 2017)

Dutch postal company PostNL has criticised the Dutch consumer and markets authority ACM for demanding more competition in the shrinking postal market.

In particular, the quality of nationwide delivery services could be threatened and postal companies will start competing on employment terms, the Financieele Dagblad quotes the company has saying.

The ACM ordered PostNL to deliver mail for competitors such as Sandd and Van Straaten in areas where they do not have their own network and has told the former state monopoly to be more transparent about its rates from 1 November. ‘The ACM bases its decisions on “regulations that do not match the reality of a shrinking postal market”, ‘ PostNL is quoted as saying.

Chief executive Herna Verhagen told the AD that the measures taken by the regulator to promote competition are counter-productive. ‘There are now four or five companies delivering mail. That is not viable in the long term and will be at the expense of service and quality. Rural areas will be the first to suffer from it.’

At the moment half of all deliveries in rural areas are loss making, according to PostNL. The company is required by law to provide a nationwide delivery service.

PostNL’s turnover fell in the second quarter by 4% to €343m, while underlying net profit fell from €26m to €17m. The amount of addressed post delivered by PostNL fell 8.8% in the second quarter.

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