Swiss Post says it is withdrawing its pending appeal against a ruling by the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO). The procedure had been underway for over 10 years and concerns a ruling regarding the structure of discounts on letters for major customers.
The post notes that pricing measures are an important pillar of its new strategy, which also includes discounts. In order to push ahead with this strategy without delay, the post states it does not want to have to pursue a legal process that could go on for many more years. Instead, it needs clarity and has therefore decided to withdraw the appeal. Consequently, Swiss Post is now accepting the fine of CHF22.6m (US$24.7m).
COMCO initiated proceedings against Swiss Post’s pricing system for addressed domestic letters for business customers in July 2013. In 2017 it fined the post the above sum for allegedly granting discounts to major customers for addressed domestic letters between 2009 and 2014, which is unlawful under anti-trust law. Swiss Post contested this ruling before the Federal Administrative Court on the basis of several expert reports, and submitted an appeal in July 2018. Now, over three years later, Swiss Post is withdrawing its appeal. By accepting the fine from COMCO, it will prevent the procedure from continuing for years until a final-instance decision is reached.
In order to push ahead with the implementation of its strategy without wasting any more time, Swiss Post states it urgently needs clarity on the pricing and discount structure for major customers that will be accepted by COMCO. The post says its decision is expected to establish the required clarity and is more cost-effective than pursuing the appeal, given the strategic relevance.