Discussion Papers

Wolrad Rommel

Rechtliche Aspekte des Verbundes zwischen den Unternehmen der Deutschen Bundespost im Schalterbereich
Nr. 87 / Mai 1992


Since the reform of Posts and Telecommunications in Germany, the corporate constitution of the Deutsche Bundespost has changed. Its regulatory and entrepreneurial tasks are separated. The Deutsche Bundespost Telekom (telecommunications services), the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst (postal services), and the Deutsche Bundespost Postbank (financial services) were established as independently operating public enterprises. They are regulated by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. This organizational structure have had a direct impact on the counters network run by the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst. It follows that the pricing and the mutual use of the counters network has become an issue to be settled between the enterprises by agreement. Furthermore, the Ministry as a regulatory body has to seek for effective ways to ensure the achievement of his political aims without unduly restraining the entrepreneurial tasks of the enterprises.

Our work on economic and regulatory issues of the counters network resulted in three discussion papers. One paper analyzes the issue of pricing. Another discussion paper deals with regulatory concerns, and the present paper argues the points of law.

The "ultra vires doctrin" lead-in to the regulatory and economic issues of the counters network from a legal point of view. This rule does apply to the three enterprises of the Deutsche Bundespost. They can't exceed their powers given them by the parliament and the German constitution. But these limits do not prohibit contractual relationships between the three enterprises. They can legally bind each other. With regard to the counters network, the margin for negotiations is extensive. The German law does not provide a previous form of the counters network. The enterprises are entitled to create new organizational structures and different forms of co-operation. Par example, franchisees are allowed to manage the network. Furthermore, the German constitution does not oblige the enterprises to offer certain postal or telecommunications services, and the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications decides according to its politically exercised discretion whether the counters network is regulated or not.

Only German language version available.

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