EC approves tax relief granted to La Poste

EC approves tax relief granted to La Poste
The European Commission has concluded that tax relief granted to La Poste in order to maintain high-density coverage of postal services in France over the 2018-2022 period is in line with EU rules on State aid.
In a statement issued on Friday (6 April), European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: ‘Easy access to postal services is vital for all EU citizens. Today’s decision enables La Poste to receive compensation so that it can continue performing its fundamental social and economic role and important public-service mission,without unduly distorting competition.

The EC statement added: “La Poste’s ‘territorial coverage’ mission is designed to ensure high-density postal coverage, over and above the universal service obligation, particularly in rural areas. This coverage is provided through approximately 9,500 outlets, with post offices gradually being replaced by partnerships with local shops and town halls as contact points that are cheaper to run and will therefore help to gradually reduce costs.

“To fund this mission, the contract for services between the French State and La Poste for the 2018-2022 period provides that La Poste will receive local tax relief worth a maximum of around €900 million over the period as a whole.”

The EC said that its assessment showed that the scheduled compensation did not exceed the amount needed to cover the net cost of this public-service mission. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is in line with EU rules on State aid.

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