La Poste offers package for home and out of home delivery services (delivery to a parcel pick-up point, post office and consignment) to shipper clients (mainly e-merchants).
The Minister of the Economy and Kiala lodged a complaint with the Autorité de la concurrence regarding practices targeting La Poste in 2010. They notably denounced a partnership agreement concluded between La Poste and Mondial Relay and loyalty rebates practices.
The interim measure’s decision taken by the Autorité in 2011
La Poste planned to conclude a partnership with its competitor Mondial Relay, which would have enabled it to present to online sales sites a delivery offer at pick-up points combining its own network of post offices and merchants with that of Mondial Relay. Given its important position on the market and following the investigation initiated by the Autorité, La Poste had suspended its partnership with Mondial Relay. In a decision 11-MC-01 (see press release), the Autorité noted the contract suspension and decided to pursue the investigation into the merits of the case.
The Autorité delivers today its investigation into the merits of the case.
Competition concerns identified by the Autorité: La Poste's rebate system
The latter were offered by La Poste, depending on the customers and the years, several types of rebates, in particular retroactive, which according to the customers, the type of delivery (home or out of home) and the years, were calculated from:
- either home parcel delivery flows only, a segment in which La Poste is an essential partner (more than 80% market share);
- or the cumulation of home and out-of-home delivery flows.
Such rebates could encourage customers to entrust their out-of-home and home deliveries to La Poste without competitors being able to compete with these discounts, given that a large number of customers are forced to contact La Poste for a certain part of their home parcel delivery.
In response to these competition concerns, La Poste notably proposed to:
- put an end to any price coupling between his home and out-of-home package deliveries by fixing separately the rebates associated with each of these types of delivery;
- remove, for home parcel deliveries, the loyalty effects resulting from rebates and which are likely to harm the development of competition.
The Autorité made these commitments mandatory and closed the case opened before it, as it responds to competition concerns - La Poste's competitors are able to compete with La Poste.
In accordance with article 8 of ordinance n° 2020-306 of 25 March 2020 and as indicated by the Autorité’s press release of 27 March 2020 regarding the adaptation of the time limits and procedures of the Autorité de la concurrence during the health emergency period, the decision will be enforceable at the end of a period of one month from the end of the state of health emergency.