The government has defended the deal struck that will see Swiss Post delivering packages for retail giant Amazon. There is no question of preferential treatment, it said.
The response by the government came in response to a parliamentary question raised by politician Olivier Feller (Liberal-Radical), querying the deal that will see Swiss Post delivering Amazon packages within a time frame of 24 hours.
Feller reckons that such a deal grants favourable conditions to Amazon and violates the principle of equal treatment that Swiss Post is bound to observe for all items delivered.
The government rejected this, stating that not only does the equal treatment principle not apply to items crossing a customs boundary (as is the case with Amazon products), but it also does not apply to large-scale deals such as this one. Rather it applies to individual deliveries.
Many have questioned the move by Swiss Post to work with the US-based company, which does not employ anybody in Switzerland.
Writing in Le Temps newspaper (in French)external link in February, the President of the Swiss Payot book chain Pascal Vandenberghe summed up the worries of many small and medium-sized businesses and asked whether Swiss Post, as a publicly-directed body, should be engaging in deals which may ultimately harm the Swiss domestic economy.
For her part, Swiss Post director Suzanne Ruoff said on Tuesday that Amazon had not been accorded any favours, and that the deal was still in a test phase until the end of June.
She added that if Swiss Post had not competed for – and won – the contract, other private operators such as DHL or DPD would have stepped into the breach; the package delivery market has been open to competition since 2004.