Brussels, 17th July 2008
Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition said: “In the liberalised postal sector, it is crucial to ensure a level playing field among competitors. The illegal aid given to Poste Italiane must therefore be recovered.”
Poste Italiane was legally obliged to deposit the funds collected from customers’ current accounts with the Italian Treasury.
The Commission's investigation revealed that the interest rates paid by the Treasury to Poste Italiane from 2005 onwards are:
The Commission concluded that these higher interest rates, which do not conform to market conditions, provided an economic advantage in favour of Poste Italiane and distorted competition and trade within the Single Market.
The Italian budgetary law for 2007 abolished the legal obligation to deposit the funds collected on postal current accounts of private customers with the Treasury and provides that these funds are invested by Poste Italiane in euro area government bonds. The interest paid for these bonds do not contain any state aid as they do not entail any selective advantage.
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number C 42/2006 in the State aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State aid Weekly e-News.