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New bill of postal services threats the subscription market

The bill of postal services was published on the Ministry of Communications’ website this September. It is about different directions of future Russian postal sector modernization and development.

Along with a large number of progressive innovations the bill’s Article #8, unfortunately, contains some provisions, which will destroy Russian subscription market as a segment if they are realized. The competition can disappear, all subscription’s agencies are going to die and the “Russian Post”, which should be the only operator of all subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, will suffer heavy losses and its final results will be very sad.

This Article #8 of the bill introduces the concept of "universal postal service", including in its competence not only the mail shipment of mail, but also subscriptions to periodicals and their delivery. At the same time, according to the first paragraph of Article#11 the provision of the universal postal service is carried out on a special license. But its receiving conditions substantially restrict the list of pretenders and, in fact, FSUE "Russian Post" become the only organization, which can obtain it.

Subscription to periodicals and its delivery cannot be regarded as a part of the universal postal service, because it is an integral part of mass media information distribution and is regulated by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Law "On mass media".  This activity’s inclusion in the universal service contradicts the law and even a number of provisions of the bill (Article#4). That’s why the subscription and delivery should be excluded from the universal postal service’s competence.

Furthermore, the approval of Article#8 of the draft Federal Law "About Postal Services" would restrict the subscription market competition and, as a consequence, would lead to massive violations of publishers’, editors’, subscription agencies’ and other distributors’ rights of the free media flow.

PDA pays the attention of Ministry of Communications heads, “Russian Post” and the entire media community to a danger of Article 8 of the draft Federal Law "About Postal Services" for the industry. It calls to revise the article and exclude the subscription from the category of the universal postal services. It would be reasonable to leave the subscription as a territory of a competitive free market, where “Russian Post” would serve as the operator, as one of the market players.

Sourse: PDA