Discussion Papers

Ulrich Stumpf

Postal Newspaper Delivery and Diversity of Opinions

Nr. 58 / Oktober 1990 Summary

A widely held view calls for cross subsidization of postal newspaper and periodical delivery. This paper undertakes a critical examination of one of the arguments put forward.Without a subsidized postal journal delivery service operating as a common carrier, the argument runs, the larger publishers would vertically integrate into home delivery and drive smaller publishers out of the market, thereby reducing diversity of opinion. Examination of this argument shows that the preservation of a greater number of competing publishers in the periodical and weekly newspaper markets does not require a postal subsidization. Only with regard to daily newspapers the argument has some merit, although subsidization of postal prices would not be sufficient. Preserving diversity of opinion in the local/regional newspaper markets would require in the first place the introduction of postal early morning delivery rounds.

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