Regulating Access to Stimulate Competition in Postal Markets?

PROGRESS TOWARDS LIBERALIZATION OF THE POSTAL AND DELIVERY SECTOR, M.A. Crew, P.R. Kleindorfer, eds., 2006

20 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2005

See all articles by Paul de Bijl

Paul de Bijl

CPB Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis

Eric van Damme

TILEC and CentER, Tilburg University

Pierre Larouche

Université de Montréal; Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE)

Abstract

With the postal sector moving to a one-way distribution market and the abolition of legal barriers to entry (the reserved sector) in postal markets, the possibilities for competition increase. In this paper, we investigate whether effective competition is likely to develop on its own, or whether specific access regulation is necessary or desirable in attaining this end. We argue that in a liberalized postal market, besides legal and regulatory entry barriers, there are no significant natural entry barriers that could ultimately prevent profitable entry. We thus conclude that, as a result of the absence of monopolistic bottlenecks, a large section of the postal market will be accessible after full liberalization. Focusing on downstream access (competitors inserting mail at a point further down in the network of the Universal Service Provider (USP)), we argue that specific mandatory access regulation, on top of generic non-discrimination principles found in competition law and strengthened if necessary in sector-specific regulation, is not needed to facilitate competition and may be counterproductive. Indeed, it may bias entry strategies towards a specific entry mode, thereby possibly limiting innovation.

Keywords: Post, Access regulation, Downstream access, Barriers to entry, European Law, Law and economics

JEL Classification: K21, K23, L43, L9

Suggested Citation

de Bijl, Paul W.J. and van Damme, Eric E.C. and Larouche, Pierre, Regulating Access to Stimulate Competition in Postal Markets?. PROGRESS TOWARDS LIBERALIZATION OF THE POSTAL AND DELIVERY SECTOR, M.A. Crew, P.R. Kleindorfer, eds., 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=831924

Paul W.J. De Bijl (Contact Author)

CPB Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis ( email )

P.O. Box 80510
The Hague, 2508 GM
Netherlands
+31 70 3383380 (Phone)
+31 70 3383350 (Fax)

Eric E.C. Van Damme

TILEC and CentER, Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 3045 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3066 (Fax)

Pierre Larouche

Université de Montréal ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3T 1B9
Canada

Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) ( email )

Rue de l'Industrie 42
Brussels, 1040
Belgium

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