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EC orders Germany and Belgium to return state aid for postal operators

 |  January 25, 2012

The European Commission has handed down decisions regarding state aid granted to postal operators in German, Belgium, France, and Greece.

Germany and Belgium must return their state aid for Deutsche Post and Bpost, respectively. The EC determined that the state aid granted to Deutsche Post afforded it an economic advantage, as the compensation allowed Deutsche Post to bear significantly lower social contributions for pensions than private competitors. Deutsche Post is to return € 500 million to € 1 billion, and it has already pledged to appeal the ruling. Bpost was ordered to recover € 417 million because it was overcompensated from 1992 to 2010.

€ 1.9 billion in aid for France’s La Poste and € 52 million in aid for Greece’s Hellenic Post was approved by the EC.

According to the EC’s Press Release, “[s]tate aid control in the postal sector pursues a threefold goal: to ensure a level playing field for postal operators, to promote competition between them and to ensure that high quality postal services can continue to be delivered at affordable prices.”

Sources: EC Press Release, Technical Memo


Related content: Some Reflections on the European Commission’s State Aid Policy (Philip Lowe, European Commission)