Multiple postal firms can continue to offer 24-hour delivery of bulk mail


Businesses and organizations will continue to be able to choose from multiple postal companies for the delivery of their 24-hour bulk mail. That is because Dutch postal company PostNL must continue to grant access to its sorting and delivery network to other postal companies. Thanks to that, regional postal companies that deliver mail only in parts of the country will be able to offer nation-wide 24-hour delivery of bulk mail, too.

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has come to this conclusion in its market analysis decision regarding the 24-hour delivery of business mail. With this decision, ACM carries out the legislature’s wish to safeguard access to PostNL’s network for 24-hour bulk mail delivery from August 1 onwards. On that day, Section 9 of the Dutch Postal Act, which regulates this access, will expire. 

Why is PostNL required to grant access?

Several postal companies only deliver 24-hour mail in certain parts of the country. Due to its dominant position, PostNL continues to be required to offer delivering their mail in those regions where the other postal companies do not have any mail carriers. Despite the shrinking market, there should be room over the next couple of years for multiple postal companies to compete. As a result, senders of business mail will continue to be able to choose between different postal companies. This will ensure better service at lower prices.

ACM sets out conditions that PostNL may apply

In its market analysis decision, ACM sets out what conditions PostNL may apply for delivering this mail. These include, among other conditions, the times by which other postal companies should deliver their mail to PostNL, and the tariffs that PostNL is allowed to charge them. The tariffs have been set in such a way that PostNL is not only able to recoup its costs, but is also able to earn a reasonable return. When setting these tariffs, ACM expressly takes into account the decreasing mail volumes.

What had happened prior to this decision?

On several occasions, ACM asked market participants for comments on the analysis and the proposed obligations. Following those comments, the decision has been modified on a number of points, so that it deals with the identified competition issues in an even more targeted way.