Neopost in U.K. Competition Investigation of Postal Franking Machine Industry

June 17, 2005

Cleary Gottlieb represented Neopost in an industry-wide investigation by the U.K. Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into the structure and operation of the U.K. postal franking machine industry.  The OFT accepted undertakings from the leading U.K. suppliers, Neopost and Pitney Bowes, and from Royal Mail, which licenses machines and inspectors using its delivery services.  This marks the first time the OFT has accepted market-wide undertakings in lieu of a reference to the Competition Commission.

Under the 2003 Enterprise Act, the OFT has wide-ranging powers to investigate any market when there is reason to suspect that the structure of the market or the conduct of suppliers or customers is harming competition.  In such cases, the OFT may refer the market as a whole for a comprehensive, two-year investigation by the Competition Commission.

Neopost is the leading European supplier of mailroom equipment and logistics systems.