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Österreichische Post AG: Replacement of delivery boxes cannot be completed before 2009

Pressemeldung from 30.06.2003

Earlier date compromises the competitivity of the postal service
Replacement cost for delivery boxes totals more than EUR 100 million

The government bill amending the Postal Act stipulates that all new delivery boxes must be fitted with a slot in the future to ensure absolute equality of conditions from the perspective of competitors vis-à-vis the postal service. The transition period for replacing existing delivery boxes has been set at 1 January 2009. From the perspective of Österreichische Post AG, the limits of technical feasibility have been reached with this date. This very date has also been suggested by the Federal Cartel Office at a round table on 28 April 2003.

“The Association of Austrian Newspapers (VÖZ) has now called for an amendment of the government bill and for advancing the transition period by four years to 1 January 2005. This will negatively affect the competitive position of Österreichische Post AG“ warns Anton Wais, CEO of Österreichische Post AG. Wais moreover sees the continued provision of universal service threatened. The postal service delivers to addresses all over Austria, while competitors generally offer their services in densely settled areas only, where business is profitable. The expensive remaining quantities are left to the postal service. Moreover, Österreichische Post AG is under an obligation offer a standard rate to customers as part of universal service (letters up to two kg, parcels up to 20 kg).

Österreichische Post AG has so far won all litigation on the use of delivery boxes instituted before the courts against a competitor. The Supreme Court ruled clearly and without limitation that the postal service may use these installations for all business purposes. The Supreme Court founded its ruling in particular on the grounds that competitors were hereby not restricted in their activities on the market.

The cost for replacing the post-owned delivery boxes (approx. 1,100,000 letter-boxes) has been estimated at EUR 70 to 100 million and will have to be paid by house-owners and/or users. This estimate does not include the replacement costs for private delivery boxes (some 700,000 million letter-boxes), most of which will also need to be changed.

For more information please contact:

Österreichische Post AG
Company communication
Press section/ PR
Johannes Angerer
Tel.: +43 (1) 515 51 - 32012
Vienna, 30 June 2003

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