BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Deutsche Post's competitors in letter delivery are not threatened with extinction by the postal law reform after all. Walther Otremba, chairman of the Federal Association of Letter Services, told dpa on Sunday that the Federal Ministry of Finance had assured his association that universal postal services would also be tax-exempt for competitors. This is to take effect under certain conditions. The "Handelsblatt" had previously reported on this. Consultations on the reform are currently underway and the law is expected to be passed in the spring.

Originally, only the market leader Deutsche Post was to receive the VAT exemption on so-called partial services, behind which part of the lucrative company mail is hidden. According to Otremba, this would have pulled the plug on the smaller competitors, as Deutsche Post would then have had a major price advantage. "It's good that Swiss Post doesn't have a one-sided advantage and that we can remain competitive." However, it was only the second-best solution. The head of the association would have found it better to retain the current rules./wdw/DP/jha