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Deutsche Post Monopoly Extended

March 28, 2001

BERLIN (AP) _ The German government decided Wednesday to extend Deutsche Post AG’s lucrative domestic letter monopoly by five years through the end of 2007, waiting until European Union regulations for postal markets are established.

The monopoly on the delivery of letters and catalogues was scheduled to run out at the end of 2002. According to government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye, however, Germany wanted to wait for European-wide legislation on the postal markets before allowing Germany to open up.

A spokesman for the Deutsche Post, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to comment on the government decision, but stressed that the company has nothing against liberalization.

Domestic mail delivery accounted for 77 percent of Deutsche Post’s profits in the first half of last year. Those profits more than doubled to 1.4 billion euros ($630 million) versus the previous year.

The conservative opposition criticized the move as a ``fatally wrong decision for competition″ that would hurt most of all those who use the mail.

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