FEDMA (Federation of European Direct Marketing) yesterday issued a statement slamming the weak response of the European Commission to further liberalisation of the European postal market.

The European direct marketing body believes the new EC proposals, adopted last week, do not go far enough. Although these will liberalise some outgoing cross-border mail, they leave mail below 50 grams – including direct mail – in the protected [monopoly] sector.

Says FEDMA director general Alastair Tempest: "Delaying postal liberalisation at the European level, when so many postal operators at the national level are being opened to competition, is a recipe for fragmented and distorted markets. The postal market must develop and change to face the new challenges of e-commerce, and the continuing decline in volumes of post.”

Tempest accuses the Commission of burying “its head in a sack of post, [and] ignoring the great opportunity offered to it to liberalise and open up the market”. It had “given in to the heavy political pressures of a very small minority of monopolistic postal operators,” he charges.

Noting that the Commission had also promised to prepare economic impact assessments on the further liberalisation of the postal markets between now and 2004, FEDMA expressed its surprise that this had not been carried well beforehand - when it [FEDMA] had first called for such studies.

FEDMA statement [4-Jun-00]