EC SETS TNT DIVESTMENT AS CONDITION FOR APPROVAL OF POSTAL VENTURES
The European Commission has cleared the creation of two mail joint ventures between the U.K.’s Post Office, TNT Post Group N.V. of the Netherlands and Singapore Post Private Ltd. of Singapore, but said that the authorization is conditional upon TPG selling the business carried out by TNT International Mail.
The EC said that the condition would prevent a strengthening of TPG’s dominant position in the Dutch market for outbound cross-border business mail.
The British, Dutch and Singaporean national public postal operators plan to set up two joint ventures named Delta and NewCo, which will be active in the provision of outbound cross-border mail services and parcel services. Delta will be active worldwide with the exception of the Asia Pacific region, which will be covered by NewCo.
The EC said that its examination focused on Delta.
“Whilst the two joint ventures would generally appear to be pro-competitive, the Commission identified possible competition problems in the U.K. and the Netherlands and, therefore, started an in-depth investigation on Nov. 15, 2000,” a spokesman for the EC said. The Brussels regulator’s concerns arose “from the elimination of competition” between the businesses being contributed to Delta and the respective parent companies in the Netherlands and the U.K., it said.
The EC’s investigation confirmed its concerns in relation to the market for outbound cross-border business mail in the Netherlands. The concentration would have had the effect of eliminating competition between the dominant player, TPG, and the most successful entrant into the Dutch market, the U.K.’s Post Office.