20 October 2000

Despite reaching agreement over long-running bulk mail issues with Germany’s state-owned postal service Deutsche Post, Britain's Royal Mail intends to pursue its complaint to the European Commission about the German operator’s business practices.

At issue is Deutsche Post’s policy of imposing a surcharge on international bulk business mail sent to Germany from Britain – which undercuts bulk shipments sent within Germany itself. Germany boasts the EU’s highest postal rates, and Deutsche Post insists that the surcharged UK shipments are actually internal German business mail channelled via the UK to cut costs. The Royal Mail denies this.

Yesterday Deutsche Post shelved the surcharge and the associated delivery interruptions. Said a Royal Mail spoke: “We have reached an agreement that our mail will not be interrupted, but we have not resolved the issues at the heart of the complaint and these still need to be addressed.”

Agreed an EC official: "We are certainly interested to see what Deutsche Post is doing, but it does not automatically put an end to our investigation. If we find these practices have been applied over a number of years, we can still act."

News source: Financial Times