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

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

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 24: Transparency and non-discrimination in postal pricing

Joakim Levin, Åsa Gustafsson, Anders Hildingsson and Sten Selander


The purpose of this chapter is to examine transparency and non-discrimination in postal pricing in a liberalized postal market. The chapter aims at showing how transparency and non-discrimination can be of importance for securing sustainable competition in the sector, using insights from the current situation in Sweden. It also discusses postal law in the light of economic theory and competition law. Transparency and non-discrimination are two main concepts in postal price regulation in the European Union. The economic benefits to the postal operator, as well as to (the economic theory concept of) total welfare, of price discrimination under certain circumstances are well known (Crew and Kleindorfer, 2012). However, as concluded by Carlton and Perloff (1999, p. 280), the objective of price discrimination is to ëcapture as much consumer surplus as possibleí. Thus, policy assessment also involves protection of customers. Moreover, price discrimination may raise competition concerns, since it may facilitate selective predation by giving opportunities for the universal service provider (USP) to single out customers that are considering choosing a competitor, and give these customers specific discounts or pricing schemes in order to block out competitors (existing as well as possible entrants). It is uncontroversial that harmful types of price discrimination are less likely to occur, the more transparent the pricing system of the postal operator is. On the other hand, it should be recognized that non-transparency, for example secret discounts, can be beneficial in some cases as they may undermine cartels.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.