Royal Mail fined £50m for bullying small rivals after complaint by Whistl
Royal Mail has been fined a record £50million for breaking competition rules.
Regulator Ofcom said its ‘unacceptable’ behaviour meant mail and parcel senders could have missed out on lower prices.
The ruling followed a complaint from mail delivery service Whistl, which tried to compete against Royal Mail in delivering bulk mail to businesses in 2014.
Fined: Royal Mail was fined after a complaint from mail delivery service Whistl
Ofcom found that Royal Mail effectively tried to penalise Whistl and other potential bulk mail competitors through plans to increase prices for separate wholesale contracts, over which it had a monopoly.
Whistl suspended its plans for bulk delivery and complained to the regulator. The price increases were never introduced.
Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition group director, said: ‘All companies must play by the rules. Royal Mail’s behaviour was unacceptable.’
Royal Mail said it is very disappointed by the largest fine ever dished out by the regulator. It denies breaching competition regulation and plans to appeal.
However, the group also faces the threat of further costs, with Whistl saying it may sue for damage to its business.