The Bundesnetzagentur's approval of a series of Deutsche Post postage increases was unlawful following a decision by the Cologne Administrative Court. This was announced by a spokeswoman for the administrative court on Thursday. The Federal Network Agency assumed that the benchmark for the approvable costs of Deutsche Post AG was incorrect. For the "normal" postal customer, however, the judgment will probably have no effect. In principle, only the successful plaintiff can reclaim overpaid postage.
Among others, the Federal Association of Parcel and Express Logistics (BIEK) had sued. According to him, the judgment relates to the approval of Deutsche Post's letter postage by the Federal Network Agency for the period from 2019 to 2021. The judgment has established that Deutsche Post "illegally made a profit of 450 million euros" during this period. explained the BIEK.
A post spokesman said the decision was to be expected after the Federal Administrative Court's 2020 postage ruling. At that time, the court complained that certain standards that were used at the time when postage was approved by the Federal Network Agency should have been regulated in the Postal Act and not in an ordinance.
"The legislature already created this required authorization basis last year and thus also confirmed the legitimacy of the long-practiced rate approval procedure in the postal system," emphasized the Post spokesman. In this respect, the judgment of the Cologne Administrative Court, which was announced on Wednesday, has no effect on the current postage, which is valid until 2024.
The Federal Network Agency also emphasized that the judgment would have no effect on the future. "The legislature has already made improvements on this issue."