State postal company fined for antitrust actions

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Latvian national postal company Latvijas Pasts has been fined €12,000 for anti-competitive or antitrust practices, a spokeswoman for the Latvian Competition Council told the BNS newswire Tuesday.

The watchdog's spokeswoman Inita Kabanova said that Latvijas Pasts has been abusing its dominant position in the market via is its subsidiary, Mailmaster.

"Companies that print, put into envelopes and send out letters in the name of their clients in bulk, such as bills and various notices, cooperate with Latvijas Pasts, which ensures the delivery of these consignments to the addressees. Upon examining the case the Competition Council found that from its subsidiary Latvijas Pasts has been charging significantly less for these deliveries than from other companies, thus ensuring a favorable competition position for Mailmaster," the watchdog's spokeswoman said.

In one example Mailmaster won a tender, organized by the regional authority of Rezekne, to mail 22,000 property tax notices, as Latvijas Pasts was able tp offer a price 89 percent lower than that offered by a rival bidder.

Gundega Varpa, a spokeswoman for Latvijas Pasts, told BNS that the company thought the ruling was wrong.

“Latvijas Pasts does not agree by any means with the Competition Council’s conclusions and ruling and will certainly appeal it,” she said.

There are three companies providing bulk mailing services in Latvia: OpusCapita, Drukatava and Mailmaster.

Latvijas Pasts is fully owned by the Latvian state and its basic function is providing a universal postal service..

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