Postal services price notification and monitoring

  • The price notification process allows us to monitor prices in markets where there isn’t enough competition.
  • The ACCC assesses notifications of proposed price increases for Australia Post’s reserved letter services.

What the ACCC does

  • We assess proposed price increases to Australia Post's reserved letter services and can object.
  • We inquire into disputes about bulk mail services.
  • We manage the record keeping rule that applies to Australia Post.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don't approve proposed price increases to Australia Post’s letter services. The Minister for Communications does this.
  • We don’t regulate the prices of Australia Post’s parcel delivery services.

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.

Postal services notifications and projects

See a complete list of postal service projects.

Title Industry Type Status
Australia Post - letter pricing 2022 Postal services Price notification

On 11 August 2022, Australia Post provided the ACCC with a draft price notification proposing to increase the price to deliver reserved ordinary letters delivered at the regular timetable.

This includes an increase of the basic postage rate for ordinary small letters delivered at the regular timetable from $1.10 to $1.20. It also includes price increases at the same rate (9.1%) for the delivery of ordinary large letters up to 250 grams.

The new prices are proposed to take effect from January 2023.

Australia Post - letter pricing 2019 Postal services Price notification Finalised

On 1 August 2019, Australia Post provided the ACCC with a draft price notification proposing to increase prices of ordinary letters delivered at the regular timetable by 10%.

Australia Post - letter pricing 2015 Postal services Price notification Finalised
9 December 2016

Australia Post has provided the ACCC with a draft price notification regarding proposed price increases for letter services. Australia Post is proposing to introduce a basic postage rate of $1 for letters delivered at a new slower timetable, which allows up to an extra three business days for delivery to occur. Postage stamps for letters delivered at the current timetable cost 70 cents. Australia Post’s proposal also includes price increases for the delivery of large letters.

Australia Post - letter pricing 2014 Postal services Price notification Finalised
20 February 2014

Application by Australia Post for increases in ordinary letter prices 2014.

Inquiries into disputes about bulk mail services Postal services Guideline Ongoing
14/12/2012

Regulations made under section 32B of the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989 allow the ACCC to inquire into disputes about the terms and conditions, including price of access to Australia Post’s bulk mail services.

Business letter pricing 2011 Postal services Price notification Finalised
2011

On 25 January 2011, Australia Post provided the ACCC with a draft price notification proposing to increase the prices of a number of its reserved services, to become effective on 4 July 2011. The ACCC has decided to not object to the price increases in Australia Post’s price notification.

Letter pricing 2010 Postal services Price notification Finalised
2010

On 1 April 2010, Australia Post provided a price notification proposing an increase in the basic postage rate (BPR) from 55 cents to 60 cents.

Letter pricing 2009 Postal services Price notification Finalised
2009

On 24 July 2009, Australia Post provided the ACCC with a draft price notification which proposed an increase in the basic postage rate (BPR) from 55 cents to 60 cents.

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