Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 15th January 2014.

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Photo of Katy Clark Katy Clark Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make an assessment of the potential effects of the agreement between PostNL and LDC to extend TNT's end-to-end delivery service on Royal Mail.

Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Under the Postal Services Act 2011, regulatory responsibility for the postal services sector was transferred from Postcomm to Ofcom as an independent regulator with the primary duty of securing the universal postal service in the United Kingdom.

It is Ofcom's responsibility to monitor any impacts of market competition on the provision of the universal service in the UK. Parliament has given Ofcom the powers to intervene if the provision of the universal service is ever at serious risk from the effects of market competition.

Ofcom has an effective and ongoing monitoring regime to track the financial sustainability of the universal postal service. In March 2013 Ofcom published guidance on its approach to assessing the impact of end-to-end competition in the postal sector. In its November 2013 annual monitoring report Ofcom concluded that it would not be necessary to impose any additional regulatory conditions on end-to-end operators to secure the ongoing provision of a universal postal service at this point in time.

If Ofcom's ongoing monitoring regime does not prompt the need for any earlier assessment, it will carry out a full review of the impact of market competition towards the end of 2015 as a matter of course. This will ensure that the regulator has made a detailed assessment of the actual and potential impact of emerging end-to-end competition based on a better understanding of how the postal market is developing. More information about Ofcom's regulatory regime can be found on its website

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