The German courier industry has called on the federal government to introduce a Postal Services Act later this year to stir competition in the postal industry.
The call followed support from the country’s antitrust regulator, the Monopolies Commission, expressed last month for government efforts to boost competition in the letters market.
The Commission said more help in the market was needed because Deutsche Post’s market share is still above 90%.
Over the past few weeks, the German press has reported that government ministers may have cooled a little in their priority for postal reform this autumn.
But the BdKEP, a trade association representing generally mid-sized courier, parcel and mail companies, is now calling for support from members of the Bundestag to implement government proposals for an amendment to the Postal Act.
The group sent an open letter to the members of Germany’s parliament this week stating that since the initial opening of the nation’s postal market from 1998, and full liberalisation in 2008, “there is still no effective competition in the mail markets”.
Postal regulation has not promoted competition in the German postal sector, with around 500 active rivals to Deutsche Post only able to claw 10% of the market, the BdKEP argued.
In particular, the trade association pointed to Deutsche Post’s remaining tax benefits for operating the universal service as hindering competition.
It also said regulators had “inadequate” monitoring and control powers to defend third parties from abuses of market power by the dominant Deutsche Post.
The BdKEP said there was support from regional governments for improvements to competition within the postal industry, as was seen at the meeting of states in Bremen in June 2011.
Manfred Lein, the director of BdKEP, said this week that the Bundestag now needed to amend the Postal Act to create “truly open and fair competition” in the market, and dismissed concerns that doing so would affect Deutsche Post’s ability to provide universal services.
“Concerns about any lack of comprehensive nationwide coverage for postal services can be met with calmness – already it is recognised that the universal service can be provided by all the competitors,” Lein said.