State aid: Commission approves partial compensation granted to Post Office Limited for the operation of a network of post offices across the UK

 The European Commission has concluded that the financial compensation granted by the UK to Post Office Limited (POL) is in line with EU State aid rules. The support relates to the operation of a network of post offices across the UK that is larger than what POL would have chosen to operate purely for commercial reasons. In January 2018, the UK notified to the Commission its intention to grant partial compensation of around £370 million (about €418 million) to POL for delivering services of general economic interest (SGEIs) during the next funding period. The Commission already approved SGEI compensation measures to POL for the delivery of these SGEIs in two previous decisions, in 2012 and in 2015. The Commission carefully assessed the compensation measure and concluded that it amounts to State aid compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 106(2) TFEU. The compensation measure fulfils all the conditions of the 2012 SGEI Framework and POL will be entrusted with clearly defined public services obligations during a period of three years. In addition, the scheme includes safeguards to avoid overcompensation. In particular, under the measure approved today, POL will only be partially compensated and will also implement account separation and an ex-post control mechanism. This Commission decision will apply until the UK ceases to be a member of the EU. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.48224.

 

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