The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has decided to discontinue the processing of Suomen Suoramainonta’s request for action regarding Posti’s conduct in the unaddressed mail delivery market. The FCCA found nothing wrong with Posti’s pricing or conduct in the market.
In 2017, Suomen Suoramainonta Oy requested that the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority investigate competition in the unaddressed mail delivery market. Unaddressed delivery refers to the delivery of advertisements and free distribution papers to households.
Suomen Suoramainonta alleged that Posti was guilty of predatory pricing, which is prohibited on the grounds of constituting an abuse of a dominant market position.
The FCCA has now issued its ruling. The FCCA stated that, on the basis of its investigations, Suomen Suoramainonta’s allegations of anti-competitive conduct have not been substantiated. The FCCA discontinues the processing of the request for action and will not investigate further. The ruling of the FCCA does not yet have final legal validity.
According to the FCCA, there are two nationwide unaddressed mail delivery service providers in Finland: Posti and Suomen Suoramainonta. According to the FCCA, Posti and Suomen Suoramainonta compete for the same customers.
“Based on the agency’s investigation, it seems that this is a case of intense price competition between two companies and the effect of the competitive advantage gained by Posti through measures directed at improving the efficiency of its production process on the competitive position of the two parties,” the FCCA concludes.
For Posti, the ruling of the FCCA was expected.
“Due to Suomen Suoramainonta’s allegations, Posti’s pricing has been investigated for over ten years in regulatory and judicial processes, and no basis has been found for the allegations. Competition is fierce and Posti has responded by streamlining its production process, which has brought business benefits to Posti and its customers. We take every allegation concerning the lawfulness of our operations extremely seriously, but repeating unsubstantiated claims year after year seems unreasonable,” says Kaarina Ståhlberg, General Counsel to Posti Group Corporation.
Suomen Suoramainonta filed its first request for an inquiry into Posti’s pricing in 2007, which led the FCCA to conclude in 2014 that there were no anti-competitive practices in Posti’s operations. The Market Court upheld the FCCA’s view in its own ruling in 2016; subsequently in 2018, the Supreme Administrative Court (KHO) confirmed that Posti’s pricing in respect of the delivery of unaddressed ad mail was not contrary to competition law.