More Competition in EU Postal Market

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved plans to inject more competition into the EU’s postal market. The assembly voted to accept measures agreed by EU governments last year to reduce the monopolies enjoyed by national postal services. Under the measures, from 2003 only items weighing less than 100 grams will be the exclusive domain of post offices unless a competitor charges three times the basic tariff. Current EU rules put the monopoly threshold at 350 grams. The monopoly will be further reduced in 2006 when the limit comes down to 50 grams or two and a half times the basic tariff. The postal monopoly is allowed to give post operators a protected income to help them finance universal services, but the assembly and EU governments decided to let private carriers compete for a chunk of the larger letter market.

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