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Opening up of delivery boxes in apartment buildings:

Pressemeldung from 7/9/2003

Österreichische Post AG criticizes wrong assessment of impacts

Within the context of the opening up of delivery boxes in apartment buildings, Österreichische Post AG has at several occasions urgently pointed out that this measure is neither desired by its customers nor actually required to this extent in the interest of competition. Quite on the contrary, this measure will give rise to significant costs for every postal service customer and result in reductions in Österreichische Post AG’s volume of sales.
Unless dramatic steps are taken to improve the framework conditions in this respect, the survival of Österreichische Post AG is at risk.

Österreichische Post AG would like to point out that the status quo is being assessed in a totally wrong manner by the representatives of the Association of Austrian Newspapers (VÖZ). Especially in the media sector, the rates charged have been far from cost-covering, and that for years, seeing that government support for newspaper distribution (€ 65.4 million) for Österreichische Post AG has been cancelled since 2000. Since 2000, Österreichische Post AG has shown a lot of restraint in increasing these rates - and done so only after intensive discussions with newspaper publishers. Even today, the rates charged are far from covering actual costs. 

From Österreichische Post AG’s point of view, it is clear that further reductions in the volume of deliveries and thus higher per-unit costs will have to result in the abolishment of Österreichische Post AG’s obligation to provide universal service for newspaper delivery, as the alternative could only be price increases in the still partly reserved letter segment.

Citing the liberalization of the market and the unjustified burden that would be placed on private and business customers, Österreichische Post AG CEO Anton Wais rules out such an approach. Österreichische Post AG cannot consider a harmonization with the European standard, as invoked by VÖZ, to have been achieved until the obligation for providing universal service and the standard rates for newspapers are dispensed with. It is clear for Österreichische Post AG that, by insisting on a shortened transition period, the newspaper distributors not only want to hurt Österreichische Post AG as a competitor, but want above all to get rid of a cooperation partner that ensures the daily distribution of their products in all parts of the country.

It is therefore questionable whether this measure will really result in an improvement of distribution services, as Undersecretary of State Kukacka assumes. For Österreichische Post AG, it would be highly desirable not to be forced to take over the expensive remaining quanitties of newspapers from its competitors for distribution in rural areas and for distribution on Saturdays, which is totally unprofitable. However, so far the competitors have not shown any activities worth mentioning in these areas.

Österreichische Post AG calls upon its competitors to finally keep the promises they made to customers and politicians and provide evidence of their quality of service and show how they handle distribution in rural areas. And Österreichische Post AG calls upon the politicians in charge of this matter to provide framework conditions ensuring fair competition.   

For more information please contact:
Österreichische Post AG
Company communication
Press section/ PR
Johannes Angerer
Tel.: +43 (1) 515 51 - 32012

Vienna, 9 July 2003

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