UK Mail Market Opens Fully Jan. 1

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Postcomm, the independent regulator for Britain's postal services, reminded mail users yesterday that the UK mail market opens to full competition Jan. 1, ending Royal Mail's 350-year monopoly of this market.

Customers can benefit from new choices in mail services as postal operators licensed by Postcomm will be able to compete fully with Royal Mail in the letters market.

Until now, competition has been limited to bulk mailings of 4,000 items or more. The bulk mail sector opened to competition in January 2003. It accounts for about 30 percent of the mail market by value, Postcomm said.

"Limited competition has already delivered significant benefits, with Royal Mail's quality of service at an all-time high and business customers enjoying more innovative products and later mail collection times," Postcomm chairman Nigel Stapleton said. "One highly valued aspect of the UK mail system will remain unchanged by these new developments. That is the universal service provided by Royal Mail: the one-price-goes-anywhere stamp, plus collections and deliveries every working day for every UK address."

For practical purposes, the change takes effect Jan. 3 because Jan. 1 is a Sunday and Jan. 2 a bank holiday, with no postal service either day.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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