We assess price notifications
Price notification allows us to monitor prices
The price notification process allows us to monitor prices in markets where there isn’t enough competition. These are markets that may not achieve efficient prices for consumers.
For letters services, we use this process to consider whether revenue from a proposed price increase will be more than Australia Post requires to recover the costs of providing the services.
Price notification rules are in Part VIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
Price notification applies to some Australia Post services
Price notification only applies to some Australia Post services.
Australia Post and these specific postal services are declared under Price Notification Declaration (Australia Post Letter Services) (No 2) 2015. This began on 19 September 2015 and ends on 30 June 2025.
Services covered are:
- reserved ordinary letters carried at the regular timetable. This includes the basic postage rate
- ordinary letters carried at the priority timetable, if the proposed price is greater than 150% of the equivalent reserved ordinary letter price.
The declaration does not cover bulk business letter services or non-reserved services, such as parcel delivery.
See the Explanatory statement on the Australia Post Letter Services Price Notification Declaration for more detail.
Australia Post must notify the ACCC and Minister
Australia Post must notify the ACCC when it proposes to:
- increase the price of a notified letter service, or
- introduce a new notified letter service.
After being notified, we assess the proposal in line with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. We then notify Australia Post on whether we object to the proposed price increase.
Australia Post must also notify the Minister for Communications in writing of proposed price increases for ordinary letters.
Australia Post may increase the price only if the Minister doesn’t object to the increase. The ACCC doesn’t have a role in approving the proposed price increase.
See a list of Postal services notifications.
We check that Australia Post isn’t cross-subsidising
The ACCC assesses whether Australia Post is unfairly competing by using revenue from its reserved services to subsidise its non-reserved services.
Reserved services are those services provided only by Australia Post. Legislation gives Australia Post a statutory monopoly for these services. Examples are delivering mail to homes and sale of stamps.
Non-reserved services are Australia Post services provided in competition with other businesses. Examples are parcel delivery and sale of items in postal outlets.
In the past, we issued a report each year assessing Australia Post cross subsidy. The report analysed Australia Post’s regulatory accounts for the previous year. It let us see if revenue from reserved services was being used to cross-subsidise non-reserved services.
We discontinued this report in 2016 when we found that Australia Post did not use profits from its monopoly reserved letter services to unfairly compete in other markets.
We continue to track potential cross-subsidy through price notification for reserved letter services.
Our monitoring function comes under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989.
We inquire into bulk mail service disputes
The ACCC can inquire into disputes about the terms and conditions on which Australia Post provides bulk mail services. This includes the price of access to these services.
We do this to ensure that people who use bulk mail services receive fair and reasonable terms and conditions.
Our powers come from Regulations made under section 32B of the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989.
See Inquiries into disputes about bulk mail services.
We can collect certain records
The ACCC can require Australia Post to:
- keep records
- provide certain records to the ACCC.
We use this information to meet our responsibilities in monitoring postal services.
Our powers come from section 50H of the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989.
See Record keeping rules for Australia Post.