The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência – AdC) confirms having sent a Statement of Objections to CTT – Correios de Portugal S.A. (CTT) outlining its preliminary view that the company is abusing its dominant position by refusing its competitors access to its standard mail delivery network since 2012, in breach of national and EU competition rules.
The AdC’s provisional findings show that CTT used its control over the only nation-wide standard mail delivery network in Portugal to prevent the entry or expansion of competitors in the national market for standard mail services, a market worth at least €400 million per year.
Alternative postal operators need to access a nation-wide mail delivery network in order to provide standard mail services to business customers. Building a nation-wide delivery network is not economically viable for alternative postal operators and, therefore, access to CTT’s nation-wide delivery network is indispensable.
The abusive behaviour of CTT, if confirmed, is likely to cause significant harm, by raising obstacles to the development of effective competition, notably by companies that wish to send standard mail from their customers, thus contributing to reduce choice, increase prices, lowering quality and stifling innovation.
CTT’s conduct is serious, having occurred following the liberalisation of the postal sector introduced by the Postal Act of April 2012 that fully opens the postal sector to competition.
A Statement of Objections does not determine the final outcome of the procedure. CTT has now the opportunity to exercise its rights of defence against the alleged infringement and possible applicable sanctions.
The Statement of Objections was adopted on 12 August, 2016.
22 august 2016