Norwegian Mail Service Fined by ESA
The Norwegian mail service Posten Norge has been fined NOK 102 million (EUR 12.9 mill) by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)’s watchdog ESA for breach of EEA competition rules. The Authority has concluded that Posten Norge infringed Article 54 of the EEA Agreement by abusing its dominant position in Norway between 2000 and 2006.
Posten Norge is surprised by the ruling, and is considering appealing to EFTA’s court of appeal. Posten Norge is the national postal operator in Norway and a leading provider of parcel delivery services. The case concerns handling of parcels sent by mail-order and e-commerce companies to Norwegian consumers. Posten Norge has had a particularly strong position in this market.
Following a complaint, the Authority has carried out an extensive investigation of the Posten Norge’s exclusivity agreements with certain retail groups and outlets (grocery stores, kiosks and petrol stations) for the establishment of its Post-in-Shop network.
In its ruling ESA states that these agreements entailed that Posten Norge made it difficult for competing suppliers of parcel delivery services from establishing a nationwide, competing delivery network of collection points for their parcels.