On April 2, 2020, the FCA accepted commitments from La Poste, the incumbent operator in postal services in France, and closed its investigation regarding La Poste’s discount practices for delivery services.

In 2010, the FCA launched an investigation into La Poste’s discount practices for both home and out-of-home delivery services.[1] La Poste offered discounts calculated on the basis of either home delivery flows – a segment in which La Poste holds a 80% market share – or both home and out-of-home delivery flows. The FCA was concerned that, through these rebates, La Poste could leverage its dominant position in the home delivery segment to encourage customers to also use its out-of- home delivery services, to the detriment of its competitors.

In order to alleviate the FCA’s competitive concerns, La Poste offered a series of commitments to the FCA.[2] In particular, La Poste offered to (i) calculate its discounts for home and outside-of-home delivery separately; (ii) build price scales with incremental prices and discounts[3], which are uniformly applied to customers based on volume of orders; (iii) ensure compliance with its first two commitments through regular competition law training, use of an IT tool to archive all contracts, and internal oversight; and (iv) implement these commitments according to a set calendar and for a period of five years.

The FCA accepted La Poste’s commitments since they allowed competitors to compete with La Poste both for home and out-of-home delivery services. The FCA made these commitments mandatory for a period of five years and thus closed its investigation.[4]

[1]              See FCA Decision n° 20-D-06 of April 2, 2020.

[2]              See Commitment Proposal from La Poste S.A., of December 12, 2019, available at: https://www.autoritedelaconcurrence.fr/sites/default/files/ commitments/2020-04/engagements20_d_06_vnc.pdf.

[3]              Tiered price scales, whereby prices and discounts are determined by specific volume thresholds, see FCA Decision n° 20-D-06 of April 2, 2020, paras 97-112.

[4]              See FCA Decision n° 20-D-06 of April 2, 2020.