Advances in Regulatory Economics series
Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer
Chapter 9: Access, Bypass and Productivity Gains in Competitive Postal Markets
Francis Bloch and Axel Gautier 1. INTRODUCTION In the European Union, Full Market Opening (FMO) of postal markets is now scheduled for January 1, 2011 (and January 1, 2013 for new members). FMO allows competitors of the incumbent postal operator to enter all the segments of the postal markets, including mail delivery. FMO might be a threat for the ﬁnancing of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) imposed on the incumbent postal operator, particularly if the entrant bypasses the incumbent’s delivery network. In the postal sector, competition started long before FMO. However, with a few exceptions, competition was limited to the upstream segments of the market (collection and sorting) through the use of worksharing agreements. Worksharing or access means that a competitor can perform all the upstream operations of the postal value chain and buy access to the incumbent’s PO delivery network at a discounted price (compared to the letter price). FMO means that in addition to the access solution that will continue to be available, the competitors also have the option to deliver mail with their own delivery network (bypass). In this chapter, we are interested in the consequences of FMO on the behavior of the incumbent PO. As mentioned, FMO means that the entrant can bypass the incumbent’s delivery network and build up its own. Bypass can be detrimental for both the incumbent’s proﬁt – with a negative impact on its ability to ﬁnance the USO – and welfare (Crew and Kleindorfer, 2005; De Donder, 2006; Bloch and Gautier, 2007)...
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