A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Australia Post (part 3)

RECIPROCAL ARRANGEMENTS

Australia Post, because of its government ownership and exclusivity is HUGE and its size and exclusive mail distribution, has several significant reciprocal corporate arrangements with which newsagents cannot compete. They provide economies of scale and provide an advantage with which newsagents cannot compete.

a. Coles Myer. Australia Post handles the logistics for Coles Online. Coles offers an in store bill payment service which competes with that offered in Australia Post. Newsagents offer a similar service using the same technology as used in Coles. Australia Post has complained about newsagents establishing bill payment but not Coles. Odd that.

b. Telstra. Up to September 2003 Australia Post had an exclusive contract for the provision of in person bill payment services to Telstra. Telstra seemed keen on appointing a second, non exclusive, in person bill payment network. The second largest in person bill payment network had been established by Bill Express Limited and was located in newsagencies. In August 2004 year on the same day that Telstra announced that it had given Australia Post a five year exclusive contract for in person bill payment services, Australia Post announced that it had given Telstra an exclusive $200 million IP telephone contract.

The Australian Government needs to deliver a level playing field to newsagencies like mine. It needs to divest itself of retail post offices and provide a similar free market system under which enwsagents are other retailers operate.

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