PostNL to appeal transparency decision

The Netherlands based postal regulator ACM has published a decision requiring the Dutch national postal operator PostNL to give its competitors more information regarding the rates and terms for the services it provides for its corporate customers. PostNL has vigorously objected to these demands.

PostNL argues that providing this level of information to its competitors gives them an unfair competitive advantage over PostNK in offering rates and discounts to customers. Essentially the argument goes that the smaller companies do not have to provide the same level of information, so why should PostNL?

The postal operator released a statement that argued, “PostNL is transparent. However, transparency should benefit healthy competition. In its decision, ACM requires PostNL to be transparent in advance, about the tariffs it offers its business clients. Conversely, any other mail company is not required to do so. This does not result in a level playing field. This is expected to harm a healthy, competitive market and with that the general interest to maintain a reliable and accessible mail delivery network for all Dutch residents in the long term.”

The statement continued, “The postal volumes decline as a result of substitution to digital media. PostNL strives to maintain a reliable mail delivery network that is reliable and accessible for all Dutch residents. Also in the long term. This requires adequate rules that guarantee healthy competition.

“PostNL previously announced that it estimates the financial impact on PostNL of a number of recent decisions by ACM and the possible measures to be implemented by ACM regarding significant market power could add up to 30 million and 50 million euros on an annual basis over a 3- to 4-year period. PostNL expects that the financial impact of this new decision on transparency falls within this range.”

PostNL has therefore appealed the decision against the ACM’s rulings.