Postal service to pay big fine

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Norway’s postal service (Posten) lost its appeal of a hefty fine imposed by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) for hindering competition through its “post in the store” concept. It did, though, get a discount on the fine because EFTA’s surveillance unit took more than seven years to investigate the charges.

Posten now must pay NOK 83.7 million, mostly to the state but also to the two other EFTA countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The fine resulted from exclusive agreements Posten struck with various retailers in Norway to open postal counters within retail outlets. The deal allowed Posten to close post offices all over the country, but a clause in the contracts with the retailers excluded any others from being able to set up shop in the same store.

German transport firm DB Schenker complained, and because Posten has a dominant position in Norway, EFTA ultimately fined Posten. Schenker is now expected to file a compensation claim against Posten.

Views and News staff