Progress in the Competitive Agenda in the Postal and Delivery Sector
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Progress in the Competitive Agenda in the Postal and Delivery Sector

  • Advances in Regulatory Economics series

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer

Regulation continues to be an important issue in the postal and delivery sector of the global economy. This latest volume of the series covers progress made in the competitive agenda in the industry. It is global in scope and addresses topics of great importance to scholars and practitioners of postal regulation and public sector economics.
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Chapter 3: Price and Quality of Service Regulation in Portugal

João Castro and Agostinho Franco

Extract

3. Price and quality of service regulation in Portugal* João Castro and Agostinho Franco INTRODUCTION 1 ICP-ANACOM1 (ANACOM) is the Portuguese regulator for postal services and electronic communications. Its responsibilities include promoting the development of the communications sector, both postal and electronic, and to ensure sector-specific ex ante regulation. The responsibility to protect the interests of consumers, particularly users of universal service must also be highlighted in this context. In its role as regulator of postal service markets, ANACOM has promoted the gradual liberalization of the postal sector which will be completed no later than the end of 2010. Notwithstanding, retail price control, through the establishment of price caps, has been one of the most visible and enduring of other stepping-stones of the ex ante regulatory framework. The establishment of price controls via price caps aims at preventing the dominant operator, or an operator with significant market power, from charging excessive prices to the consumers, while allowing the freedom to set the various prices within the set restraint, and providing more effective incentives to reduce costs. This may allow the operator to become more efficient. The quality of service regulation, via the setting of quality standards and penalties for noncompliance, has also been another important stepping-stone of ex ante regulation, especially in markets that are not yet liberalized or where market structure is such that competition is taking more time to develop. Quality of service regulation is also paramount where the provision of the universal...

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