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EC orders Slovakia to re-open competition in hybrid post services

The European Commission (EC) ordered Slovakia on October 6 to re-open competition in hybrid postal services.

The European Commission (EC) ordered Slovakia on October 6 to re-open competition in hybrid postal services.

The decision is legally binding and Slovakia has a month to inform Brussels about the measures taken to enable the re-opening, the TASR newswire wrote. The EC began measures against Slovakia for extending the Slovak Post’s monopoly in June.

According to the EC, Slovakia extended the Slovak Post's monopoly in providing hybrid postal services, including delivering invoices electronically transferred from the sender to the provider who prints, packs, sorts and delivers them. Before the amendment, this service was provided through free competition.

"The re-monopolisation of a business activity that has been successfully liberalised is a step in the wrong direction," said Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition, adding that such attempts to advantage leading enterprises harm customers and enterprises depending on effective postal services. "The Commission won't tolerate this," she concluded.

The EC decision is a blow to the Slovak Post, whose spokesman, Juraj Danielis, said the situation is the result of a series of unfortunate developments. The Slovak Post has operated in the best interest of its clients, he said, and the company is therefore "disappointed that its arguments were not taken into consideration." TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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