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The Role of the Postal and Delivery Sector in a Digital Age

The Role of the Postal and Delivery Sector in a Digital Age

Advances in Regulatory Economics series

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Timothy J. J. Brennan

This volume, the result of the 21st Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics (Ireland, 2013), describes the continuing problem of the decline of the postal sector in the face of electronic competition and offers strategies for the survival of mail services in a digital age.

Chapter 7: The regulatory treatment of end-to-end competition in the UK postal sector

Richard Eccles

Subjects: economics and finance, competition policy, public sector economics


The UK postal services regulator, Ofcom, published its final guidance on end-to-end competition in the postal sector, on 27 March 2013. This is a culmination of approximately one yearís work and consultation and this has been a key focus of Ofcomís postal sector regulatory policy since the entry into force of the new postal legislation, the Postal Services Act 2011, on 1 October 2011. Ofcomís planned regulatory treatment of endto-end competition is central to its regulatory role in safeguarding the universal service. Ofcom acknowledges that there is currently very little end-to-end competition in the UK, with Royal Mail delivering over 99 percent of all mail items in 2011. However, Ofcomís Guidance follows partly from a trial by TNT Post of end-to-end delivery operations in west London, commenced in April 2012, which could lead to competition in end-to-end service after the trial. Ofcom published a Statement on the new regulatory framework in March 2012 followed in July 2012 by an Update on its position on end-to-end competition. It proceeded to issue draft guidance on its approach to end-to-end competition by means of a consultation published in October 2012 that, with limited changes, has now been published as Ofcomís Final Guidance. The Postal Services Act 2011 sets out the framework for the UK postal regulatory regime. It makes the safeguarding of the universal service the main regulatory priority of Ofcom.

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