ARCEP publishes its first Postal Observatory

Paris, 11 April 2006

ARCEP's missions in the postal sector

ARCEP is responsible for:
- issuing authorisations and implementing the rights and obligations linked to them.
The law establishes a system of authorisations for the domestic mail market (including distribution) and for cross-border mail. This system creates a framework of rights and obligations for operators on these markets.

- monitoring La Poste's universal service mission, and in particular, its performance in terms of quality of service.
ARCEP ensures that La Poste respects the universal service quality objectives, established by an order of the Minister of the Post under terms established by decree. It commissions an independent body to conduct an annual service quality study, and publishes the results of the study.

- monitoring the universal service provider's accounts and prices.
In order to apply the principles of account separation and transparency-in particular to guarantee the financing conditions of universal service-ARCEP establishes cost accounting rules and accounting system specifications, and ensures the universal service provider respects the cost accounting obligations established by decree. It has the universal service provider's accounts checked annually to ensure they conform to the rules it has established.

The economic importance of the postal sector

The mail market, which is still highly monopolistic, has a significant economic weight: in 2004, over 18 billion items of correspondence (letters and addressed advertising), newspapers and magazines were sent and over 300 million parcels distributed in France.

Around this core "addressed mail" market, which is covered by the universal service obligation, are a number of related markets: press delivery, express mail, unaddressed direct mail).

In order to better understand the postal activities market and meet the expectations of sector players, ARCEP decided to create a "Postal Observatory". A survey has been conducted to collect market data (revenues, traffic volumes and number of access points).

This publication presents the results of the initial survey. It covers the activity of operators in France in 2004.

Linked documents

Smiley The Observatory is available for consultation and downloading (pdf - 175 Ko) Smiley