Ljubljana/Maribor, 01 January (STA) - The postal services market became fully liberalised across the EU on 1 January with the abolition of the final reserve area for national postal companies, the delivery of mail under 50 grams.
In Slovenia all postal services providers have been able to carry mail under 50 grams so far, but according to law their fee had to be 2.5-times that of the national postal company Posta Slovenije, the Agency for Post and Telecommunications (APEK) told the STA.
As of today the market is fully liberalised and service providers will be free to set prices for mail under 50 grams, giving users a choice of competing services.
In view of the experiences of companies that had liberalised their markets earlier, the market regulator does not expect major changes, but in the long term it "could mean more competition and more choice for consumers".
Since almost all major international parcel delivery companies have operated in Slovenia for years, the regulator does not expect an increase in the number of service providers, but the existing providers might start using the Posta Slovenije network.
National postal operator Posta Slovenije says it is prepared for full liberalisation, so it does not expect significant short-term impacts on the bottom line or market share.
Nevertheless, the company fears that the legislation is too vague, which could allow the emergence of domestic rivals offering sub-par service.
It is concerned that rival operators would cut prices in urban areas and provide only limited service in rural areas. "This will have nothing to do with actual competition that would improve quality and efficiency," the company told the STA.