Deutsche Post rejects EU demand to repay €1 bln

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25 Jan, 2012 Updated Wed 25 Jan 2012 15:59 CEST
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Deutsche Post, Europe's largest mail carrier, said Wednesday it would appeal against an EU order to repay up to €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in state aid because it broke anti-trust rules.

After investigating whether state subsidies distorted the market in Belgium, France, Germany and Greece, the Commission ordered the German government to recover "incompatible aid" in the range of €500 million to €1 billion resulting from what it said was a combination of highly regulated prices and pension relief subsidies.

Belgium was ordered to recover €417 million of aid sent to Bpost between 1992 and 2010 for its public service mission, but the Commission approved state aid to France's La Poste as well as subsidies paid out to Hellenic Post (ELTA) by the Greek government.

Deutsche Post chief executive Frank Appel slammed the EU ruling as "incomprehensible and has no basis in fact" and said the group would file an appeal with the European Court of Justice.

"If you examine the state aid rulings on other European postal service providers, it becomes quite clear that here the Commission has applied double standards. We are absolutely confident that the decision will have no validity in court and are proceeding on the assumption that the amount plus interest will be repaid," Appel said.

AFP/mry

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2012/01/25 15:59

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