Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

Royal Mail fails in appeal against Ofcom’s abuse of dominance decision

13 November 2019

Prof. Suzanne Rab

Zenith's Suzanne Rab writes:

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has upheld Ofcom's 2018 decision fining Royal Mail GBP 50 million for abuse of dominance through discrimination against postal operators that competed with Royal Mail in bulk delivery.

The CAT rejected Royal Mail’s arguments that the case raised novel issues for the application of Article 102(c) TFEU in relation to prices that were not paid or charged.

The CAT further rejected submissions from Royal Mail that Ofcom erred in law in concluding that transactions entered into by Royal Mail and its customers were equivalent in material respects and that the price differential could not be objectively justified.

Royal Mail also failed in its argument that the conduct was objectively justified by reference to the need to preserve the viability of the universal service under economically acceptable conditions.

The decision of the CAT was unanimous and illustrates the hurdles that need to be overcome in successfully appealing a decision of a specialist economic regulator.

The Royal Mail plc v Office of Communications [2019] CAT 27

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team