19 mei 2024

No permission for PostNL to take over mail company Sandd

Postal company Sandd (short for Sort and Deliver) was – after PostNL – the Netherlands’ second postal company.
Founded in 1999 and acquired by PostNL on 1 February 2020. It was headquartered in Apeldoorn.

Sorting hall Sandd in Apeldoorn, 1 May 2019.
Sorting hall Sandd in Apeldoorn, 1 May 2019.

As usual, PostNL needed permission from the competition authority in the Netherlands, the ACM, to acquire Sandd.

As usual, PostNL needed permission from the competition authority in the Netherlands, the ACM, to acquire Sandd.
The ACM did not give PostNL permission to acquire Sandd on 5 September 2019. A monopolist would be created. Normally that would be the end of the matter, but State Secretary Mona Keijzer (Economic Affairs and Climate Change) exercised her right to overrule the ACM. It had never happened before that the ACM was overruled.

Several court cases were filed, and each time, the courts knocked back the Secretary of State.
Today, 29 September 2023, the highest administrative court (the Business Appeals Tribunal) ruled once again that the merger could not go ahead.
However, PostNL and Sandd have been completely merged for several years and Sandd has been completely dismantled.

The court now rules that PostNL’s appeal against the ACM decision is unfounded.

The ruling confirms that it was the right decision not to grant a licence for PostNL’s takeover of Sandd in 2019. The ACM will now study the ruling further and discuss the consequences with all parties involved.

As both companies are now therefore one company, PostNL says unbundling is impossible. An appeal is still possible, so we are not there yet……..

René Hillesum

René Hillesum

Collector of postal history of Finland and postmarks of Imperial Saint Petersburg.

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