First Downstream-access Agreements Signed
Deutsche Post implements the decision by the Federal Cartel OfficeBonn, 05/02/2005, 11:30 AM CEST
Deutsche Post has signed the first downstream-access agreements with rival providers of mail preparation services (known as "consolidators"), thereby implementing a decision taken by the Federal Cartel Office as recently as February. The Office had instructed Deutsche Post to grant competing consolidators the same volume discounts for the collection and preparation of mail that the company grants to its own major customers.
The decision, although criticized by Deutsche Post, has now been implemented. There will be no exclusive or preferential arrangements - all consolidators will be treated equally. Nor are there plans to introduce special licensing models, as sought by some competitors. The consolidator will bear sole liability vis-à-vis the sender.
Deutsche Post reserves the right to demand the repayment of the discounts as soon as the decision of the Federal Cartel Office is reversed in the principal proceedings. An appeal has been lodged with the Intermediate Court of Appeals in Dusseldorf, which is expected to rule on the matter in a few months time. The company continues to hold the view that it is not legally obliged to grant consolidators access to partial services, as this would constitute a violation of its exclusive license.