German Regulator OKs Cut in 2005 Stamp Prices

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German telecommunications and postal services regulator RegTP said yesterday it approved a 0.7 percent overall cut in 2005 stamp prices proposed by Deutsche Post World Net AG, the German mail delivery company.


The new prices for letter delivery take effect Jan. 1 and will be valid until Dec. 31, 2005, RegTP said. Deutsche Post said the cut saves customers 50 million euros ($65.4 million U.S.) over the prior year.


Prices for standard letters and postcards will stay at 0.55 euros (72 cents U.S.) and 0.45 euros (59 cents U.S.), respectively, Deutsche Post said.


Stamp prices for the compact letter, however, will drop to 0.95 euros ($1.24 U.S.) from the current 1 euro ($1.31 U.S.) A compact letter is thicker and heavier than a standard letter.


Fees will be eliminated for machine-readable business reply in direct marketing, which are 0.06 euros. Simultaneously, the higher business reply fee for non-machine readable items will be reduced to 0.25 euros (33 cents U.S.) from the current 0.26 euros. Business reply is an important element of a mailing for business customers because the return allows success to be measured, Deutsche Post said.


Because parts of its business are still without competition, Deutsche Post cannot set its pricing for letters without regulatory approval.


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