PostNL and Sandd have announced they will ask the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to approve the merger of their postal networks after the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) rejected the license application last week.
PostNL and Sandd disagree with the ACM’s analysis, which said the proposed €130m (US$144m) acquisition by PostNL of its main rival Sandd “was not in the best interests of customers and would result in price increases of 30-40%”.
According to a statement from PostNL and Sandd, “The continuing decline of mail volumes makes it very hard for postal operators to sustain their profitability. Consolidation is essential if the country’s postal services are to be kept reliable, accessible and affordable, across both urban and rural areas, safeguarding a sustainable postal service for all, including the elderly and socially vulnerable groups.”
The companies argue that combining the volumes of the two networks will generate economies of scale, a vital factor to ensure continuity. “Consolidation will also facilitate a responsible social response to the consequences of the ongoing decline in the postal market,” the statement continued.
PostNL and Sandd will now apply for approval under Article 47 of Dutch competition law, which mandates the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to apply a different framework, and allow for a wider range of considerations to be taken into account based on public interest, including employment, continuity and affordability of the universal postal service.
PostNL’s CEO, Herna Verhagen, will be giving the keynote presentation at the Parcel+Post Expo Conference on Tuesday, October 1 as part of the Global Leaders session.