Following proceedings initiated against Slovakia in June 2008, the European Commission has decided that the amendments made to its Postal Law infringe EC Treaty rules requiring EU Member States to ensure that measures relating to public undertakings or undertakings to which they give special or exclusive rights conform to all Treaty rules, including rules on competition.
Amendments made to the Slovakian Postal Law extend the monopoly of the incumbent operator, Slovenská Pošta, to the delivery of hybrid mail services (namely a written message sent electronically to the post office, which then prints, dispatches and distributes the message in a physical form). It is an important service for the postal sector, as it is widely used by banks, insurance companies and telecommunications businesses that have to send large amounts of mail, such as invoices.
As the delivery of hybrid mail was previously open to competitors, the market was occupied by several private companies. However, when the amendments for re-monopolisation entered into force in April 2008, all competitors had to stop all activity related to hybrid mail in favour of Slovenská Pošta. The Commission found that the act amounted to a re-monopolisation of this business that could not be justified under the Universal Service Exception, which enables former State monopolies to provide profitable and unprofitable services to the community.
Slovakia now has one month to respond to the Commission Decision.