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ACM to keep a closer eye on parcel delivery market

07-10-2016

Dutch consumers continue to shop online in droves. The number of parcel deliveries has therefore grown tremendously over the past few years. The parcel delivery market is changing at great speed. For example, providers have concentrated their efforts on developing innovative delivery methods. And the prices in various market segments are constantly evolving. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) wishes to continue to keep a close eye on the parcel delivery market, and will therefore, from 2017, include this market segment in its annual monitor of the postal services market. This has been the outcome of a market scan in which ACM identified the market structure and competitive positions of the different parcel services providers.

Critical to have sufficient options for senders

The market for domestic parcel services is a concentrated market: parcel companies PostNL and DHL Parcel together control the largest share of this market. Increased concentration levels may be an indication of reduced competition. ACM believes it is important that this market continues to be sufficiently dynamic, and that senders have enough to choose from. That is why ACM will keep monitoring the competitive positions of all market participants over the next few years. ACM monitors the trends of various parameters that indicate the functioning of the parcel services market. These are the trends in market shares, the different options of senders, the price trends in different market segments, the availability of service locations, and the issues regarding the deployment of independent parcel couriers.

Are parcel services considered postal services or express services?

Furthermore, ACM is currently conducting a further investigation into which parcel services fall under the legal definition of postal services, and which ones under the definition of express services. This difference is relevant because it determines which rules apply.

About the consultation

On May 20, 2016, ACM made a draft version available for consultation with the industry. Everyone with knowledge about the parcel delivery market was given the opportunity to respond to the draft version. ACM subsequently received many comments from parcel services providers, an interest group for online stores, and a union. ACM has assessed the comments, and has incorporated them into the final version of the monitor. The comments did not lead to any changes to the main conclusions.