German cartel office launches case against Deutsche Post subsidiary, others

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German cartel office has launched a case against a Deutsche Post subsidiary and two other companies over potentially anti-competitive practices in its handling of letters and parcels, the regulator said on Thursday.

The watchdog would examine whether Deutsche Post Inhaus Services, Postcon Konsolidierungs GmbH and Compador Dienstleistungs GmbH have agreements in place regarding mail consolidation services that restrict competition, it said in a statement.

Mail consolidation refers to a service that picks up parcels and letters from multiple customers and processes them in shipping hubs, thereby streamlining the process and reducing costs.

“We will examine whether the existing agreements Deutsche Post InHaus Service has in place with its direct competitors restrict competition,” said Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt.

A Deutsche Post spokesperson said its subsidiary submitted the contracts it has with competitors to the federal network agency.

“We are convinced that these agreements are also in line with competition law and will also present this to the federal cartel office,” the spokesperson said.

(Writing by Friederike Heine, Editing by Rachel More/Keith Weir)