Barriers to competition in the German and UK postal market

Report for Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands.
Table of contents
1 Introduction 9
1.1 Purpose and background of the study 9
1.2 Entry barriers in postal markets 9
1.3 Postal products and market segmentation 11
1.4 Activities undertaken and structure of the report 12
2 Barriers to competition: does de jure liberalisation lead to de facto
liberalisation? 13
2.1 Introduction 13
2.2 Assessment of potential barriers to competition 13
2.2.1 Time path for liberalisation 13
2.2.2 Licence requirements 14
2.2.3 Downstream access 15
2.2.4 Strategic behaviour of incumbents and position of postal regulator 17
2.2.5 VAT exemptions 18
3 Conclusion 25
3.1 Summary of main observations 25
3.2 Recommended course of action 26
Annex 1 How does a VAT work? 29
Annex 2 Barriers to competition in the UK postal market 33
1 Barriers to entry caused by the regulatory framework 35
1.1 General 35
1.2 Reserved area 35
1.3 Regulatory uncertainty: access to the final mile delivery network 36
1.4 Licence requirements and entry conditions 36
1.4.1 Operational procedures and traffic interchange 36
1.4.2 Licence applications and annual fees 37
1.4.3 Reserve funds 37
1.5 Tariff regulation 38
1.6 Competing operators 38
1.7 Exclusivity agreements 39
1.8 Access 39
1.9 Returned mail and misrouted mail 42
2 Strategic entry barriers 45
2.1 Cross-subsidies 45
2.2 Predatory pricing 45
2.3 Bundling and tying 46
2.4 Vertical foreclosure 46
2.5 Non-price barriers 46
2.5.1 The AMP investigation 47
3 Level playing field 49
3.1 VAT exemption 49
3.2 Immunity from parking penalties 49
3.3 Change in address notification 49
4 The universal service obligation and uniform pricing 51
5 Conclusions 53
5.1 Barriers to entry caused by the regulatory framework 53
5.2 Does Royal Mail have rights/facilities that are not strictly necessary for
servicing the USO, and do these rights/facilities lead to unequal
competition? 53
5.3 What are the practical barriers to entry or operation that might constitute an
unlevel playing field? 53
Annex 2A List of interview partners 55
Annex 3 Barriers to competition in the German postal market 57
1 Barriers to entry caused by the regulatory framework 59
1.1 General 59
1.2 Reserved area 59
1.3 Regulatory uncertainty: unconditional liberalisation 59
1.4 Licence requirements and entry conditions 60
1.5 Tariff regulation 60
1.6 Competing operators 60
1.7 Access 61
1.9 Returned mail and misrouted mail 62
2 Strategic entry barriers 63
2.1 Cross subsidisation and predatory pricing 63
2.2 Bundling and tying 63
2.3 Vertical foreclosure 63
2.4 Non price barriers 64
2.5 Mandate of the regulator 64
3 Level playing field 65
3.1 VAT exemption 65
3.2 Consolidation 65
3.3 Other issues 65
3.5 Change in address notifications 66
3.6 The universal service obligation and uniform pricing 66
4 Conclusion 67
4.1 Barriers to entry caused by the regulatory framework 67
Annex 3A List of interview partners 69
Annex 4 Barriers to competition in the Dutch postal market 71
1 Barriers to entry caused by the regulatory framework 73
1.1 General 73
1.2 Reserved area 73
1.3 Regulatory uncertainty: conditional liberalisation 74
1.4 Licence requirements and entry conditions 74
1.5 Tariff regulation 74
1.6 Competing operators 74
1.7 Access 75
1.9 Returned mail and misrouted mail 76
2 Strategic entry barriers 79
2.1 Cross-subsidies 79
2.2 Predatory pricing 79
2.3 Bundling and tying 79
2.4 Vertical foreclosure 79
2.5 Non-price barriers 80
2.6 Mandate of the regulator 80
3 Level playing field 83
3.1 VAT exemption 83
3.2 Release for driving through shopping areas 83
4 Conclusion 85
Annex 4B List of interview partners 87
Annex 5 List of participants of the workshop 89

P:LibraryPostalEcorys Barriers to competition in Germany & UK.pdf

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