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Unfair discounts? Swiss Post faces heavy fine over abusive market position

Postal van

Special prices, or just special delivery?


Switzerland’s Competition Commission has fined Swiss Post CHF22.6 million ($22.8 million) for allegedly abusing its dominant market position regarding mass business mailings. The Swiss Post rejects the allegations. 

+ How is the Swiss Post coping with reduced demand for letters?

The Competition Commissionexternal link announced on Monday that the Swiss Post had hindered its competitor, Quickmail, and discriminated against certain customers by not following its own pricing system consistently. 

The commission says Swiss Post gave high-volume business customers – those with an annual shipping volume of CHF100,000 or more – a special deal. According to the competition watchdog, the Swiss Post broke antitrust laws by granting lower discounts than those listed in the pricing system. 

The state-owned Swiss Post argues that the fine is unjustified. 

“Swiss Post is confident that it has behaved lawfully towards its customers and the market. It will appeal against the decision before the Federal Administrative Court,” Ulrich Hurni, head of PostMail, said in a statementexternal link on Monday. 

Competition Commission

The commission’s job is to ensure that competition rules are not abused, for example by cartels. It is supported by a full-time secretariat, based in Bern, which examines suspected cartels and makes investigations for the commission. The commission has 15 members who are elected by the government. Its activities are divided into three areas – product markets, services and infrastructure.

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